The following deck based on the Tremere antitribu clan is the ninth deck in the Reasonably Priced Decks series, which I have outlined in a previous blog post.
Initially a wall deck, the deck mutated to be a toolboxish bleed deck with a strong bounce component and somewhat casual intercept. This was mostly because initially the deck was able to hold out for a long time, but eventually lacked the ability to apply significant pool damage to its prey. Therefore the emphasis is now on the Dominate and Thaumaturgy disciplines, and not anymore on Auspex.
The following deck based on the Gangrel antitribu clan is the eighth deck in the Reasonably Priced Decks series, which I have outlined in a previous blog post. The deck for the Gangrel antitribu clan was arguably the hardest to built. On one hand, because of the spread in clan disciplines: the City Gangrel with Celerity, Fortitude and Protean and the Country Gangrel with Animalism, Fortitude and Protean, makes it very hard to have a decent crypt as a basis for a deck. In addition all of the named disciplines are very good support disciplines, but severely lack in payload for ousting other players. At first I tested a build with combat rush using Stutterstep and Claws of the Dead, but it failed miserably. Although the deck was able to dunk a vampire or two into torpor, it wasn’t really able to oust another player.
So the second build was a pure stealth bleed that also failed to most extent. The average crypt size is rather large (in order to gain some access to disciplines). But when I had even only a moderately aggressive predator I was ousted rather quickly.
This was all before the latest VtES expansion Danse Macbre. With Danse Macabre the prospects for a better deck lightened up. The two new midcap Gangrel antitribu are well-suited for the deck I had in mind, plus a number of library cards like Marked Territory have some potential.
The deck now is no longer a pure stealth-bleed deck, but a rather balanced composition of bleed and block elements. It is still far from being competitive. The lack of reasonably sized vampires with decent disciplines (and the lack of bloat and/or bounce) still hurts a lot.
The Deck of the Month for May/June 2014 is the tournament winning deck “419 forms of corruption” played by Matus Kovalcik (SVK). The deck main angle is the Osebo card 419 Operation, but instead of defending the 419 Operation (see the Deck of the Month Oct 2014 for comparison), this deck uses Form of Corruption to either prevent his prey from bleeding (and inflicting damage via 419 Operation) or takes control of his prey vampires permanently if his prey bleeds and removes the 419 Operations. A very close second was the deck Wildwood Sorceres played by Johannes Walch (GER), which is an interesting Gangrel/Gangrel antitribu big cap combat which uses four different disciplines (Ani, For, Pro and Tha).
It was nice to see that there were quite a number of interesting decks in May/June, among them (in my opinion) were the following:
- Interestingly there were two Lorrie Dunsirn decks victorious in May/June tournaments. Lorrie goes nuts small cap by Hugh Angseesing (UK) is POT/dom Rush deck, while Lorrie’s 1st armored division by Matt Piatek (US) uses Fortitude in addition to POT in combat (hence the “Armored”).
- Also two somewhat similar Samedi decks made it to the top, Danske Danske Revolution by David Litwin (USA) and Meat Shield by Ben Peal (USA).. Both use massive amount of Freak Drives (20+) to bleed and bloat, and Little Mountain Cemetery (as expected) and Dark Mirror of the Mind (not so expected) for actual pool generation.David’s deck is a more toolboxy, while Ben’s believe in the power of repetition (also with the help of Ashur Tablets).
- Interesting from a technical point of view is the deck Rule of Four by Adam Hulse, which is a 4CL (four card limit) deck. Although it highlights the viability of 4CL decks in general, 4CL as a concept is still not a viable rules options for VTES.
- Finally I wanted to name Steve Coombs Memorial by John McGlynn (USA). The deck as such is a toolboxy, which might not even been a tier-2 deck, but the story behind the deck makes it noteworthy. The deck’s star vampire is Egothha, which actually depicts Steve Coombs a long time US VTES player who sadly passed away earlier this year.
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).