In reference to the “Legacies of Blood Top Ten” list made by Greg Williams in January 2006, I would like to show you a similar list, namely the top five of the “Twilight Rebellion” expansion, at least from my point of view:
Top Five Library Cards
- “Monkey Wrench” — so the card looks very costly at first glance, since you “only” get +1 bleed for each blood spent, especially when compared to cards like “Conditioning” or “Eyes of Chaos“. But there are several very distinctive advantages:
- the card has no requirements other than being an anarch.
- the card is very versatile. If you do not want to bleed for more than four to avoid an “Archon Investigation“, you can easily adjust the amount of pool damage.
- the card has a huge threat potential. Your prey has to fear huge damage from each anarch he faces, equal to the amount of blood the anarch has (up to four pool damage).
- “Twilight Camp” — beside the “Anarch Convert” this is the second most important card in this set to make a vampire an anarch. I also quite like the card not only because it as a defacto hunting ground/short term investment for the anarch later in the game, but also that it has distinctive way of making anarchs when comparing it to “Seattle Committee“.
- “Hell-For-Leather” — this one is probably not the strongest of the new anarch three-way cards, but IMHO the most interesting one. Each of the effects cannot be achieved at all with the same disciplines (at inferior). The most interesting effect is the “Obtenebration” effect which makes another pay two pool if his minion is not ready and your minion is after a combat. Therefore this provides an effective mechanism for ousting your prey in addition or as an alternative to “Fame” or “Tension in the Ranks“.
- “Constant Revolution” — if the master card “Smiling Jack” (SJ) has a sibling, it’s the action “Constant Revolution” (CR). Though cards are comparable in terms of effects, they are quite different in other aspects.
- SJ is a master card, so it can be “Washed” or “Sudden Reversaled“; CR is an action card, so it can be blocked or “DI“ed.
- SJ requires to move a pool to SJ; to CR you move a counter (from the blood bank).
- SJ forces other players to burn pool or blood from vampires; CR forces other players to burn pool or discard cards from their hand.
I don’t regard “Constant Revolution” as substitute of “Smiling Jack“, but rather as a complement/alternative to “Smiling Jack“. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, but none is superior to the other one.
- “Crypt’s Sons” — this is one looks very strong. Practically when recruiting this retainer, you get two “combat ends” and “action continues” for the cost of one action and a pool. Which is a really good bargain. You can expect “Crypt’s Sons” in many anarch based decks, since they can be used universally (i.e. they have no requirements other than being an anarch).
Top Five Crypt Cards
- “Anarch Convert” — this card really revolutionizes the way you can play anarch based decks. Instead of packing 6 to 10 library cards to make your vampires anarch (like “Galaric’s Legacy” or “Seattle Commitee” and hoping to draw them early, now you can add 3 to 4 “Anarch Converts” to your crypt and your almost guarantueed to make one of your vampires an anarch very early in the game. The special ability to either gain a pool or draw another card from your crypt makes sure that you do not suffer a significant disadvantage by adding “Anarch Converts” to you crypt. And you can narrow down your crypt choice like some tournament players already do by adding a couple of “Tupdogs“.
- “Toby” — “Toby’s” special ability, i.e. giving an anarch +1 bleed by burning a blood, is really making up for his lack of disciplines. With his special ability he can be the cornerstone of any anarch bleed deck. In our draft tournament he was frequently drafted and put into decks, and contesting was also seen once or twice. The argument when prey and predator where contesting Toby was given by the prey as: “The contest is cheaper than being bleed by 2 by each of the anarchs“.
- “Jack Drake” — since he’s the only anarch (next to the “Anarch Convert“) makes “Jack Drake” a likely candidate for the top five list. But not only that fact, but also his +1 strength and of course the ability to allow other vampires to become an anarch when they move to your ready region, makes him the first choice in an anarch based combat deck, e.g. based on “Diversion” and “Hell-for-Leather“. Even if he’s really inferior to “Appolonius“. ;)
- “Sean Rycek” — also here his ability makes him so valuable. With only inferior “Demenetation” and “Auspex” he’s rather weak 4-capacity vampire. But he can either burn a blood or tap to gain two votes in a referendum. So he’s a valuable low cap vampire in any vote based deck or as vote defense. You can even put both “Sean Rycek” (group 4) and “Michael Luther” (group 3) in the same deck, and built an anarch based vote deck based on these two vampires. You may need some vampires with capacity of 5+ since, Sean and Michael cannot become anarchs without increasing their capacity by at least one first.
- “Jacob Fermor” — although this “Gangrel” is missing the in-clan discipline “Fortitude“, he’s a most valuable addition to any “Werewolf” based deck. His special ability gives each ready werewolf you control +1 bleed. For examples this would a “Renegade Garou” a bleed of 1, and an “Ananasi Vampirephile” even a bleed of 2 (too bad there’s not much synergy between the “Guruhi” and the “Gangrel“).
But where’s light there’s also darkness (or was it the other way around in the “World of Darkness“). While theresome some subpar cards (e.g. “Shoulder Drop” or “Stealing Years“, there is only one really disappointing card from those cards when shown in the preview or spoiled on the Usenet newsgroup.
- “Power for All” — the card has a powerful effect, canceling any library card when it is played is not too shabby. But the cost (in constructed play) for playing this card is just too high. In the mid- to end game you often do not have two untapped anarchs in play, or you don’t want to tap them since otherwise you’re open to attacks from your predator. In addition the two blood cannot often not be spared by the small- to mid-cap vampires which are often the basis of anarchs decks.
“Twilight Rebellion” expansion gives the anarch based deck a boost they really needed. Especially the two cards that enable players to make vampires anarch more easily and effectively, should give players an incentive to build anarch based decks and actually win some tournaments. It’s about time!