The month’s deck for March/April 2014 is the tournament winning deck Mimir played by Giulio De Cicco (ITA). It’s a Gangrel antitribu deck build around
Mimir as his star vampire. The basic idea is to have him recruit/equip with +bleed stuff as quick as possible, and then bleed for 4+ as often as possible without having to fear that another player uses Archon Investigation. The deck also has some toolbox elements such as Marked Territory and Abbot. The deck also has a few sets of the old combo Force of Will and Movement of the Slow Body, but I am not sure if I would dare to play it with Mimir himself.
The other deck I would like to mention is Dmitra’s Show of Force played by Matias Frosterus (FIN). The card also uses some of the new cards from Danse Macabre. It’s a nice toolboxish Bruise & Bleed deck based on the Brujah and Brujah antitribu clans.
Otherwise there was bit too much (Tzimisce) Wall and (Ventrue antitribu) Grinder decks around ..
A little bit late, but the Deck of the Month for Jan./Feb. 2014 is the tournament winning deck “Crazy Magic” played by Jorge Verdi (ESP). The deck is four discipline deck (Tha/Dem/Obf/Aus) big cap toolbox. It looks a bit slow (and it is certainly vulnerable during the start of the game), but I like the concept and the use of all four disciplines as well as the crypt selection, which is also rather unusual. Not that these vampires (Louhi, Pentiqua, Williamn Biltmore and Lazarus James) are shabby, on the contrary, but you just don’t see them very often in tournament decks. The deck has a slow build-up and is rather toolboxy, but in the end it can control its opponents with its vampires special abilities and the selection of equipment fetched with Magic of the Smith.
This month had no clear uber-Deck (this includes the winner), but a number of strong and/or interesting decks. So the choice for the winning deck was pretty hard to make:
- Vincent Ripoll (FRA), after entering last year’s EC final with this deck, has won the second tournament with his deck named With a little help from Giotto. It’s a classic Obf/Pre/Dom Vote Bleed deck, but with the help of Giotto he’s able to burn through his library to get the cards he needs in a given situation.
- I do like crossover deck, and this is one of them. Radoslaw Staszewski (POL) plays the deck named Cybele with Cats!, which is a combination of Cybele Multi-MPA and a Rockcat rush combat deck.
- A little Weenie revival could be seen in Jan/Feb., namely the wins by Roner Oliveira‘s (BRA) Children’s Sabbath deck, which is a Sabbat weenie vote deck, and Reginaldo Oliveira‘s (BRA) Winning Grinder, which is a Weenie Computer Hacking w/ Guns deck.
- Matt Wedge (USA) won a tournament with his mono-Valeren(!) combat deck Big strong man like you…. Winning with the Salubri antitribu is no little feat, but with mono-Valeren it is quite remarkable!
- Last not least, David Sharpe (RSA) has like the winner a four discipline deck (named Enchanting Truth mainly based on Obfuscate & Presence, but also Temporis and Auspex feat. Al-Muntahir as the star vampire. The basic idea is to recruit a critical mass of vampires using Enchant Kindred , and then bleeding your prey to death using Obfuscate and Presence.
After having presented eight “Decks of the Month” in the past year, I have asked you to pick the Deck of the Year 2013. 125 votes have been cast in this poll.
So the winner for the Deck of Year 2013 is Martin Schumacher (GER) with his “The Black Plague” deck. Congratulations to Martin for building and winning with this deck. Unfortunately for the winner, there is no actual prize support for this “award” other than your five minutes of fame.
- November 2013: The Black Plague by Martin Schumacher (GER) — 26.4% (33 votes)
- October 2013: 419-911 by Bram van Stappen (BEL) — 24% (30 votes)
- Jan/Feb 2013: Mano negra illegal 2012 by Gergo Gyarmati (HUN) — 19.2% (24 votes)
- May/Jun 2013: Captain, oh my captain! by Danilo Torrisi (ITA) — 13.6% (17 votes)
- December 2013: Sujinho by Fernanda Nunes (BRA) — 7.2% (9 votes)
- Mar/Apr 2013: Potence Princes by Gergo Gyarmati (HUN) — 4.8% (6 votes)
- Jul/Aug 2013: Mata Hari is the Founder by Adam Hulse (USA) — 2.4% (3 votes)
- September 2013: Tes une fille et tu n’as pas de shampoing by Jorge Delgado (ESP) — 2.4% (3 votes)
After having presented ten VtES decks of the month in the past year here’s the poll for you to pick the Deck of the Year 2013 (see sidebar on the right). There is no actual prize support for this “award” other than your five minutes of fame.
The poll will be closed on February 3rd, 2014 (18:00 CET).
The Deck of the Month for December 2013 is the tournament winning deck “Sujinho” played by Fernanda Nunes (BRA). The deck is Nosferatu antitribu toolbox deck, which you don’t see that often in tournaments, let alone seeing it win one. The deck has some decent ousting power with Deep Song and Conditioning (of course), but it can also rush a bit and has some staying power with some transient intercept, but more importantly four intercept locations. So all in all a decent toolbox deck.
In addition to this deck, I would like to mention two additional decks, both variations of well-known deck archetypes. Waka Waka (This Time For Africa) played by Tommi Hakomaa (originally by Otso) is Nana-type Ani-Combat deck, but instead of focusing on Animalism (and Potence) as most Nana decktypes do, the deck has a wide variety of actions from Founders to the Ebony Kingdom to Public Trust. The second deck is Malkav Blockers varies the Weenie Auspex theme. Despite the hefty reaction card package (44!), the deck has at least some variety, using more “exotic” cards like Hidden Lurker, Erciyes Fragments or Improvised Flamethrower.
The Deck of the Month for November 2013 is the tournament winning deck “The Black Plague” played by Martin Schumacher (GER). There’s a quite similar deck in the tournament winning deck archive which seems to precede Martin’s deck. But I think Martin has been working on the deck concept for quite a while now. His first win with this deck was in June 2012, when he was triumphing in the Belgian ECQ 2012. The deck is basically a Black Hand swarm deck, which was already reasonable good using only Reunion Kamut. With the Danse Macabre expansion the deck gained more momentum, since Recruitment Exercise solved the long standing problem of crypt management, making the whole setup procedure considerably faster. Initially the deck is somewhat vulnerable to all sorts of threats, but after setting up with 5 or more vampires it becomes more and more hard to beat. Crucial is the Watchtower: Wolves Feed, which not only brings the Reunion Kamut and Recruitment Exercise to +2 stealth, but also offers better hitback against opponents like Weenie Auspex or even Animalism combat decks. Notice the interaction of certain effects. The deck, for example, includes Fourth Cycle, which allows Martin to remove (all) Gehenna events from play, making sure he’s not paying more than one pool for the Watchtower: Wolves Feed. Also a lot of vampires have excellent specials like Sennadurek untap ability (in addition to all the untap effects that are already in the deck) or Nicomedes ability to cycle his hand. The deck is not as easy to play the deck, since there are many lingering effects the player has to track.
The Black Gang deck played by Medhi Mazni (FRA), which also won a tournament in November 2013, uses a copious amount of Reunion Kamut and Recruitment Exercise (28 in total), too, but adds Obfuscate and Dominate (plus Leverage) for the extra punch.
I also really liked the H2E deck by Miguel Davila (BRA), which “only” won a 9 player tournament, but the concept with those three big cap vampires (the deck’s namesakes HH&E), rushing the crap out of the rest of the table, is hilarious. Also kudos to Filipe Iorio’s (BRA) Cybele Soul Gem deck for winning a tournament. Certainly not the first one, but still noteworthy.
Post Scriptum: For some reason, I totally forgot to publish this article in early December, even though it was (almost) finished. Tommorrow: the Deck of the Month for December.
The month’s deck for October 2013 is the deck “419 911” played by Bram van Stappen (BEL). The deck was on the short list for the Deck of the Month in September, but only after seeing the deck again during the Belgian Nationals 2013 again, I was convinced of the quality of the deck. During the Belgian Nationals Bram scored an impressive 3 GW in the preliminary rounds (even though they there were 4 player tables only).
The deck tries to deny its first prey any development, by playing 7 Brainwash and by reducing its pool quickly by playing 2-3 419 Operations early on. The deck is quite difficult to play in my opinion, and the real challenge is to keep most of the 419 operations in play once the initial prey has been ousted.
- Black Hand + Thuggees & Anu by Jyri Puhakka (FIN) — a Black Hand Thugee deck which uses the Dem/Aus/Obf disciplines, although on 5 out 12 vampires are actually Malkavian antitribu.
- Sha-Ennu bleed by Nick Miller (AUS) — this is an 11-cap bleed deck which doesn’t use any Inner Circle members the deck uses Sha-Ennu instead. With the help of Will-o-Wisp she can bleed recklessly without fearing to be blocked or bounced.
- White Lily Rush by Matti Palomäki (FIN) — this was for me the most surprising deck to win an tournament at the EC this year. The deck uses not only four different disciplines, but also Anarch and Black Hand cards.
The month’s deck for September 2013 is the tournament winning deck “Tes une fille et tu n’as pas de shampoing” played by Jorge Delgado (ESP). The deck is a First Tradition deck, which chokes the table with 1st Traditions and then uses bleed actions and Parity Shift to oust. It is certainly not the first kind of this deck, but it’s the most aggressive, streamlined version with 60 cards only. Also quite interesting is the use of Tomb of Rameses III, which is used as crypt acceleration instead of Zillahs Valley. Zillahs Valley cannot be used in this deck effectively, since a lot of vampires are below capacity 8. Other versions (tournament winning decks) with 3 or more First Traditions are the decks played by Sergio Gracia, Tiago Brum and John Bell. On one hand these kind of decks are sort of anti-social (like the Reversal of Fortunes decks), because they’re preventing the other players to participate in the game, on the other hand they do speed up the table one way or another.
September 2013 was very busy with VtES tournaments, so there were plenty of candidates for the title Deck of the Month:
- 419 Operation by Bram van Stappen (BEL) — this was very close second as choice for the Deck of Month. Conceptually the combination of 419 Operation, Brainwash and Pentex is intriguing, but the deck will always have difficulties ousting it’s 2nd or even 3rd prey.
- Guadedo Ghouls by Marcin Szybkowski (POL) — not only is the deck very streamlined with 10 D’habi Revenants, but it deviated from the traditional weenie Sabbat Tzimisce concept to a crypt Guadedo as star vampire.
- Il Maestro di Bahari by Gabriele Bugliani (ITA) — this is an interesting twist of the Miller Celerity (Stick) deck by using Protean aggravated damage instead of using Weighted Walking Sticks or Target Vitals.
The list of decks for the months of July and August 2013 was bit short, but nonetheless there was a reasonable number of interesting decks available for the selection as Deck of the Month.
This month’s deck is the tournament winning deck “Mata Hari is the Founder” played by Adam Hulse (USA). Adam put together a Mata Hari Laibon Vote deck. In the beginning it uses Founders of the Ebony Kingdom to get Laibon vampires cheap or even for free into play. With the help of the Laibon clan Kholo and a two vote locations, the deck then transforms itself into a formidable vote deck. The biggest problem of the deck seems to be having enough blood on Mata Hari to pay for all those card she’s playing, but Ankara Citadel is there to address this issue.
Other interesting decks are two rush decks, namely the Matata/Fakir Rush deck (played by Norbert Broda (HUN)) and the Karsh Imperator Rush deck (by Denny Bruset (ITA)), as well as Grinder style Spirit Marionette deck (by Roberto Mautone Junior (BRA)).
The month’s deck for May/June 2013 is the tournament winning deck “Captain, oh my captain!” played by Danilo Torrisi (ITA). The deck got an honorable mention in the last Deck of Month post, but looking again and again at the deck, I liked it more and more. Of course, it’s a one-trick-pony deck, but damn fine looking trick. Ivan Krenyenko is the obvious star in this deck to fetch the Soul Gem. Secondly, Will-o’-the-Wisp does a fantastic job for this deck, both for burning off blood to be able to trigger the effect of Soul Gem later on, and by preventing other player’s minions from blocking (or bouncing bleeds). And I just noticed, that the deck has more different crypt cards than different library cards. Nice!
In the May and June, apart from the usual suspects like Pre/For/Cel Vote and Aus Wall decks there were quite a few interesting decks. I wanted to mention the following:
- Dr. Randall rendel — this is a Renegade Garou deck play by Máté Vaka (HUN), which uses Randall to provide extra protection and uses mainly Protean and Auspex (instead of the usual Animalism).
- Tzimisce Vote — Adam Hulse (USA) played a Tzimisce Vote deck, which uses the G3/4 Tzimisce crypt instead of the usual G2/3 crypt. I also quite like the addition of Mind of Wild, which makes some opponents think about actually blocking an action initiated by the Tzimisce. It might not be all super efficient, but it’s a nice change of pace compared to the well-known vote decks.
- Magic of the Chimestry — this is rare combat deck played by Gonzalo Verafajardo (ESP) which uses both Thaumaturgy and Chimerstry. It has way too many combat cards (I think), but it looks really interesting to play.
- Team Jacob — Mikkel Peterson’s Tunnelrunner deck with which he won the NAC 2013. That’s just the kind of deck of which you think “That can’t win a major tournament!“. ;)
This month’s deck is the tournament winning deck “Potence Princes v2013” played by Gergo Gyarmati (HUN). It’s a Nosferatu vote as you may have seen before, but instead of packing Obfuscate and Animalism (as usual), this variant is a mono Potence deck (and of course using cards requiring the Prince/Justicar title.
I was a little bit slow at the end of March/start of April, otherwise I would have chosen a deck for March and April each. The other interesting decks from my point of view were:
- the Turbo deck based on Ivan Krenyenko (played by Danilo Torrisi (ITA)) special ability to fetch an equipment (the Soul Gem of Etrius).
- the Wall deck Elimlech goes to War (played by Péter Korsós (HUN)) with it’s namesake Elimlech as star vampire. The most interesting card in the deck is Fueled by Heart’s Blood which allows Elimlech to diablerize younger vampires unpunished.
- the most discussed deck on vekn.net perhaps was Spider, the best, which is a Ravnos deck (played by Germán Uriarte (ESP)) that uses a lot of different cards, from Baltimore Purge to Fantasy World to shut down the table. This was a very close second to becoming the Deck of the Month.
- and at last, the Ventrue Royalty Alastor Rush (played by Stone (FRA)), which uses not only Alastor/Assault Rifle to bring other vampires down, put also the good old Disarm/Prevent trick to good use.
There were a lot of decks based on Animalism around in the past two months, but not so much the Nana variants, more often based on other crypts/clans like the Tzismice or the Tremere/Tremere antitribu (I am looking at you, Goratrix!). But there’s no general trend to be seen, still some Ashur decks around, but also your usual mix of bleed, vote and combat(ish) decks.
The Deck of the Month for Jan/Feb 2013 is the tournament winning deck “Mano negra illegal 2012” played by Gergo Gyarmati (HUN). The deck is basically an Auspex wall(ish) deck, it has a strong Black Hand angle. I like especially the reasonably sized combat package consisting of Psychic Assault and Target Vitals, which can give decks relying on damage prevention a bit of trouble. Plus the crypt has a rather unusual composition, with Sennadurek as its star.
While the January was a bit of a slow month, the February was very decent in terms of deck quality, although nothing really excelled, and the race of the DotM was very close. Interesting decks included:
- Nadima Wall by Pedro Coelho (BRZ) — although the name is strictly speaking correct, I wouldn’t call deck with 14 actions cards (ony one or two of which can be considered as wallish) a wall deck. This is a solid toolbox deck based on Protean & Serpentis.
- The decks that that got a price for wackiness (but maybe less so for efficiency):
- Revolutionist Uprising by Matt Wedge — this ia I am still waiting for the breakout deck of The Rising (although Csaba’s Rising Dementia deck is close).
- Assamite Black Hand Bleed by Kamel Senni/Romain Naim (FRA) — very nice deck, but too close to Izaak’s Pancake Mix deck.
- Nehemia MiNitzeto Politico by Enrique Lopez & Lander Ladislao (ESP) — a Temporis based political deck featuring Nemiah.
- the unaligned revolutionaries by Matti Palomäki (FIN) — an interesting tap&bleed deck using Art’s Traumatic Essence to tap vampires.
One general note: Is it only me, who is seeing more and more Tremere or Tremere antitribu decks these days? My thinking is that they’re the new Ventrue antitribu Grinder deck, equally capable of withstanding pressure and fighting back, but effective against both Animalism and the Ventrue or Ventrue antitribu stick men decks, that have been popular the past few years.
Here are the results from the poll if the readers would like prefer a monthly or bi-monthly “Deck of the Month” selection. 101 readers of this blog participated in the poll, and these are the results
- Yes, bi-monthly is ok/better. — 52.48% (53 votes)
- No, keep the monthly frequency. — 37.62% (38 votes)
- I don’t care. — 8.91% (9 votes)
- Skip the feature altogether! — 0.99% (1 votes)
Although the majority thinks a bi-monthly “Deck of the Month” article is acceptable (52%), there’s a sizable majority for keeping the current schedule. Because of this result I have decided that I will choose a compromise. I will choose a “Deck of the Month” at least every other month. Meaning there will be at least six DotM in 2013, but most likely some more.
After having presented ten decks of the month in the past year, I have asked you to pick the Deck of the Year 2012. 76 votes have been cast in this poll.
So the winner for the Deck of Year 2012 is Genis Prats (ESP) with his “Alamut’s Horror Museum” deck. Congratulations to Genis for building and winning with this deck. Unfortunately for the winner, there is no actual prize support for this “award” other than your five minutes of fame.
- January 2012: Alamut’s Horror Museum by Genis Prats (ESP) — 28.36% (19 votes)
- July 2012: Bankia by Txus Alutiz (ESP) — 20.9% (14 votes)
- September 2012: Undeles Bag of Dicks by Aleksi Nuora (FIN) — 16.42% (11 votes)
- February 2012: Unnamed shatter by Ferenc Vasadi (HUN) — 11.94% (8 votes)
- November 2012: The Complex Machinations of the Mind of Fred Scott by Brian Moritz — 7.46% (5 votes)
- June 2012: El traumatologo del dolor by Luis Fonseca (ESP) — 5.97% (4 votes)
- December 2012: Extremely Silent and Incredibly Far Away by Dennis Lien (USA) — 2.99% (2 votes)
- May 2012: African Library by James Messer (USA) — 2.99% (2 votes)
- October 2012: Chorripan Festival by Javier Rodríguez Fernández (ESP) — 1.49% (1 votes)
- August 2012: “James “The Knife” Angry Dragon by Brad Cashdollar (USA) — 1.49% (1 votes)
The following deck based on the Malkavian antitribu clan is the seventh deck in the Reasonably Priced Decks series, which I have outlined in a previous blog post. The deck is not a pure stealth-bleed deck (as one would expect), but a rather balanced composition of bleed and block elements.