Two new clan newsletters have been posted in the “rec.trading-cards.jyhad” usenet newsgroup this month. Beside using a newgroup reader, you can also access the newsgroup by Google Groups.
Here are the results of the “Life is Blood” VtES Constructed tournament in Essen, Germany after 2 rounds and final. The tournament was played on October 25th, 2008 with 20 players participating. Here are the standings after the final round:
1. Martin S. — 1 GW 4,5 VP — 3 VP — Malkavian Kindred Spirits Bleed
2. Hardy R. — 1 GW 5 VP — 2 VP — Giovanni Khazar’s Diary
2. Bart De N.– 1 GW 4,5 VP — 0 VP — Trophy Big Game Combat
2. Ralf W. — 1 GW 4 VP — 0 VP — Nosferatu Old School
2. Michael H. — 1 GW 4 VP — 0 VP — Toreador antitribu Anarch Presence Bleed
Left: Jörg’s Garou are fighting Bart’s Trophy deck, and Jörg can barely make it into the timeout (also in round 1).
Right: The final during the mid-game, everybody is wary of Martin’s Malkavian antitribu and Hardy’s Khazar’s Diary deck.
Here’s the deck list — copied from the Sabbat In France forum — of the Ventrue pre-constructed deck of the “Keepers of Tradition” expansion.
The individual Ventrue have the following stats:
Disciplines: pre DOM FOR
Camarilla. When João has no title, he cannot block titled vampires. He gets +1 stealth on actions to put vampires into play.
Disciplines: DEM DOM FOR PRE
Camarilla. Prince of Amsterdam: If a political action card Johannes plays or a referendum he calls is canceled, the Methuselah canceling it burns 2 pool.
Disciplines: aus cel pot DOM FOR PRE
Camarilla. Prince of Berlin: Gustav may tap during a referendum to gain 5 additional votes. +1 bleed.
Gotsdam, the Tired Warrior
Disciplines: ani AUS DOM FOR PRE
Camarilla. Gotsdam may end combat as a strike that costs 1 blood. He treats aggravated damage as normal damage in combat. He is immune to frenzy cards.
Disciplines: cel pro DOM FOR POT PRE
Camarilla. Ventrue Inner Circle: Any vampire contesting Hardestadt’s title must yield during his or her untap phase. +1 bleed. +2 strength.
Here are the results of the Day 1 tournament of the VtES North American Championship 2008, which was played on October 24th-26th, 2008 in Montreal, Canada. The qualifier for the NAC finals have been finished on Saturday, with 57 players playing in this tournament of which 25 qualified for the finals. The standings of the final round were as follows:
1. Matt Morgan (USA) — Assamite Anarch Revolutionary Council
2. Ben Peal (USA) — Malkavian antitribu Stealth Bleed a.k.a. Cheesequake
2. Orian Gissler (FRA) — Giovanni Khazaar’s Diary
2. Hugh Angeseeing (UK) — Ventrue antitribu Toolbox
2. Kay Kristoff (USA) — Kyasid/Lasombra Black Hand Bleed
Congratulations to Matt for winning the Day 1 Tournament. A short tournament report and the winner’s deck can be found on the Usenet Newsgroup.
The results of the VtES North American Championship 2008, which was played on October 24th-26th, 2008 in Montreal, Canada, have been disclosed. 25 players played in the final NAC tournament, and the standings in the finals were:
1. Ben Peal (USA) –Assamite Anarch Revolutionary Council
2. Ferenc Vasadi (HUN) — Toreador Aching Beauty
2. Pascal “Floppyzedolfin” Bertrand (FRA) — Weenie Saturday Night DBR w/ Graverobbing
2. Orian “TTC Master” Gissler (FRA) — Animalism Rush
2. James Messer (USA) –Ventrue Obfuscate Vote
Congratulations to Ben for winning the NAC for the second time in a row, and three times in total. Quite an accomplishment!! You can find a whole bunch of pictures on Lasombra’s NAC2008 webpage and the winner’s decklist in the Usenet Newsgroup.
Reportedly (as there was a pre-pre-release of “Keepers of Tradition” during the NAC 2008) there are some quite interesting reprints in the boosters of this expansion. Looks like as if White Wolf is hitting the seconday market for good:
- Blood Weakens
- Frontal Assault
- Heart of Nizchetus
- Heart of the City
- Jake Washington
- Magic of the Smith
- Mind Rape
- Monocle of Clarity
- Powerbase Montreal
- Sniper Rifle
- Soul Gem
- The Unmasking
- Veil the Legions
Also new art previews have surfaced, this time four vampires portraits created by artist Warren Mahy. I can’t remember seeing any art works on VtES cards in previous expansion, so this seems to be a first.
I like the artwork very much, they remind me of those from the first of VtM “Giovanni Chronicles” books. It contained quite nice drawings of the founding members of the Camarilla in a similar style.
You can see the full picture at the artists website (see link above).
Here’s the deck list — copied from the Sabbat In France forum — of the Toreador pre-constructed deck of the “Keepers of Tradition” expansion.
The individual Toreador vampires have the following stats:
Thomas De Lutrius
Discipline: aus cel pre
Camarilla Primogen. If Thomas goes to topror, burn 1 pool.
Discipline: AUS CEL PRE
Camarilla. During a political action, Kateline may burn 1 blood to force a non-acting vampire to abstain.
Discipline: AUS CEL FOR PRE
Camarilla Primogen. Once each combat, Eugene may dodge as a strike.
Rafael de Corazon
Discipline: AUS CEL DOM OBF PRE
Camarilla Inner Circle Member. Any vampire contesting Rafael’s title must yield during his or her untaps phase. +2 bleed.
Discipline: cel AUS DOM PRE
Camarilla Prince of New York. You may move an action card Epikasta plays from your ash heap to your library at the end of the action (shuffle afterward)
The first results of the VtES North American Championship 2008, which is played on October 24th-26th, 2008 in Montreal, Canada, have been announced. The first major tournament was the Last Chance Qualifier on Friday, which gives non-qualified players a chance to qualify for the actual NAC tournament. 40 players participated in the NAC tournament, the standings in the finals were:
1. Pascal “Floppy” Bertrand (FRA) — Obfuscate/Presence Vote
2. Hugh Angseeing (UK) — Followers of Set Bima Dominate
2. Alexandre Bustros (CAN) — Ventrue G3/4 Vote & Bleed
2. John Eno (USA) — Imbued
2. Johannes Walch (GER) — Weenie Saturday Night DBR w/ Graverobbing
Congratulations to Pascal for winning the LCQ. A short tournament report and the winner’s deck along with some pictures can be found on the NAC 2008 Blog.
Here’s some conventional wisdom regarding VtESI’d like to share:
- Nothing is faster than DI. — The Lasombra
- Ousted players don’t gain VPs.
- Your Prey is to your left.
- Decks don’t win games, players do.
- Fame on a vampire of your prey can backfire.
- You’ll always have poolgain: Oust your prey and gain 6.
- The cheating phase never ends.
- What are you playing today? — 90 library and 12 crypt cards!
1. Simon Reed (NZL) — 1 GW 4.5 VP — 3 VP — Assamite breed/Bleed/Vote
2. Richard Aumann (AUS) — 2 GW 8 VP — 1 VP — Ahrimanes Block/Bleed
2. Nick Miller (AUS)– 1 GW 7 VP — 1 VP — Obfuscate Prince Vote
2. Jason Ryan (AUS) — 3 GW 10 VP — 0 VP — Imbued Pokemon Solitaire
2. Steve McRoy (AUS)– 2 GW 8 VP — 0 VP — Turbo Cybele/Great Beast
Congratulations to Simon for his win of the Australian Continental Championship 2008. You can find a tournament report in the Usenet Newsgroup.
On October 18th, 2008 the Last Chance Qualifier for the Australian Continental VtES Championship was held in Melbourne, Australia with 15 players attending the final tournament. The final standings were as follows:
1. Ivor Blockey (AUS) — 2 GW 6.5 VP — 1.5 VP — Saulot/Weenie Auspex Wall/Spirit Marionette
2. Stuart Jacques (AUS) — 1 GW 5 VP — 1.5 VP — Malkavian Stealth Bleed
2. Simon Reed (NZL) — 1 GW 5 VP — 1 VP — ??
2. Steve Harris (AUS) — 2 GW 8.5 VP — 0 VP — Giovani Shambling Hordes
2. Damien Hennessy (AUS) — 1 GW 4 VP — 0 VP — Ventrue Obfuscate Vote/Bleed
Congratulations to Ivor for his win of the Australian Continental LCQ tournament 2008. You can find a tournament report in the Usenet Newsgroup.
Today the Week of Nightmares 2008, a series of VtES related events and tournaments, has started. Traditionally the Week of Nightmares is the prelude to the North American Continental VtES Championship (NAC) which takes place in Montreal, Canada from October 24th to 26th, 2008.
Visit the official NAC 2008 website as well as the new NAC 2008 blog, which has been opened on October 19th, 2008.
While searching the internet for VtES related images, I found this interesting item you can see on the right. Can anybody tell me what this box is for? New storage box for cards, or is it used for electrocution of the VtES tournament winner if he uses sleazy decks like Kindred Spirits Stealth Bleed“, or is it used to blowup Chinese printing companies after they print the backs of VtES cards upside down again?
Also please take note of the funky logo ..
It’s a “Liberty Industries Model BSB-100 V-TES Bridge Substitution Box“. Whatever a bridge substitution box really does …
Last week there were a couple of auctions on EBay for VtES booster and starter displays which are no longer available (at least not in shops or for reasonable prices). The current highlight is the Sabbat expansion with prices over $300 (200€ respectively). All of the prices paid during these auctions are well over the official price White Wolf asked for when the individual expansions were released.
- Ancient Hearts Box of Boosters Factory Sealed — US $202,50 — EUR 148,26
- Dark Sovereigns Box of Boosters Factory Sealed — US $104,50 — EUR 76,51
- Sabbat Box of Boosters Factory Sealed — US $320,97 — EUR 235,01
- Final Nights Booster Box Factory Sealed — US $142,50 — EUR 104,33
- Final Nights Starter Deck Box Factory Sealed — US $144,50 — EUR 105,80
- Camarilla Edition Starter Deck Box Factory Sealed — US $144,00 — EUR 105,43
So one could ask if buying today’s VtES expansion displays is a reasonable investment for the future? I would definetely deny this .. speculating in this market with only very few buyers (compared with other commodities) cannot be recommenend at all. Maybe in five years from now, VtES is not published anymore, the player community has shrunken dramatically, and the supply on the secondary market is much higher than the demand.
After playing in the EC tournament (without much success though) I believe I’ve found some candidates which are in my humble opinion have a good chance of making it to the list of banned cards for the VtEStournament season 2009. The candidates of which I think one or two will be banned in 2009:
What makes a card getting banned? The simple answer is the card is overpowered or, to use another commonly used term, broken .. but really means broken? The best explanation what defines a broken card (in any card game that uses individual deck building) I found on the internet is the following:
“A card can be considered as broken, when every deck (in a particular format) is either running the card, or is having to prepare to deal with the card.“
Let’s have a look at the three cards that I think have a rather high probability of being banned next year. I am not advocating the ban actively, I merely observe that these cards fit the description or have led to severe abuse in the past.
- “Heart of Nizchetus”
The “Heart of Cheating” (as it is called in some places) fits the first part of the above definition perfectly. It makes just any VtES deck better, so it’s an auto-include in my humble opinion. There are three steps that lead to the “disaster” of being overpowered:
- first drawing (up to) three cards,
- then deciding which cards to keep,
- and finally not wasting them by placing them under your library.
And all this for one equip action (truly good when using “Magic of the Smith“) and the expense of only one pool.
Former Pro player and Magic the Gathering writer Zvi Mowshowitz has declared “Black Lotus” as the best artifact of all time, claiming every deck in the history of Magic is better with a “Black Lotus” in it. So you can rightfully say “Heart of Nizchetus” is the “Black Lotus” of VtES; although “Heart of Nizchetus” is not nearly as costly as “Black Lotus“.
- “The Unmasking”
This card fits the second part of the above definition for broken cards. When building any deck you always have to consider that there will be an “Unmasking” on the table. So you always need to include cards that either provide you with actions at +2 stealth (in total) or means to handle allies (i.e. kill or steal them). For example the Ventrue Law Firm” deck in its classic form is nearly unplayable in a major tournament, since it cannot overcome the +1 intercept on a regular basis. “Seduction” and “Dawn Operation” this decktype uses are also not applicable, since “Seduction” does not help against a horde of allies which all have +1 intercept, and “Dawn Operation” does not work at all against allies.
Compare it with any other cards that gives permanent intercept. Either these cards
- need to be tapped (e.g. the media locations) for use or
- they are attached to a specific minion (e.g. “Sport Bike” or “Anima Gathering“) or
- if the cards also untaps/or let’s you block as if untapped, they is either removed when the block fails or it costs a blood (e.g. “Eternal Vigilance” or “No Secrets from the Magji“).
“The Unmasking” is way more powerful than these cards:
- it’s not tapped for use,
- it applies to all allies at the table,
- it does not cost anything when played (neither pool nor any virtual cost like handsize reduction),
- it does not cost anything used.
- “Anthelios, the Red Star”
Another favourite during the EC 2008. Pack an “Anthelios” and a “Parthenon” or two and you have an powerful recursion engine. And a dreadful one too, you can recycle (and play later) a “Direct Intervention” each and every turn, or retrieve a “Toreador Grandball” that has just been removed and played it in the same turn. The problem with the card is that (together with the second master phase) it offers too easy and too powerful a recursion engine. The problem here is not “Direct Intervention” (or any other master card) that can be recycled, it is the card that powers the engine.
But maybe I am totally mistaken, and no card is banned in 2009, or maybe “Shoulder Drop“.
“If you don’t expect a deal to maybe get broken, you still have a lot to learn about VtES.” — Joscha Duell
White Wolf has updated its website containing the V:tES Storyline information for Storylines past and present. Read the full post byBen Swainbank:
We are pleased to announce the new and updated V:tES Storyline website. Come check it out at:
The site has updated rules and reports for all the Storyline Events. We also have the rules and card images for Black Miracles and Lies, the Storyline Eventtaking place at the NAC in Montreal.
While you are there, check out the updated rules and event listings for the BYO Storyline Series. We’ve pulled together information from the past BYO eventsand will be updating more of them in the days to come.
You should also check the rules for running and reporting BYO events.
These rules have changed in some important ways. Significantly, the requirement that you win a Continental Championship has been dropped. Each year we will be printing event and rewards cards from the best BYO Storyline Events. We will also updating the updating web site with coming BYO events, and these results may influence the main Storyline.
If you have ever run a BYO Storyline Event, we would be happy to include the details of your event on the site and consider your rewards card submission. Please follow the reporting format indicated on the event rules page and send your event submissions and reports to: vtesstoryatXXX@atXXXwhite-wolf.com
V:tES Storyline Coordinator
The VtES Storyline coordinator, Ben Swainbank, has released information on the upcoming Storyline event “Black Miracles and Lies“. This event is the second part (after the “Anarchs & Alastors” storyline) of this year’s three storyline events. It is a one-time-only event which takes places during the North American Championship 2008 in Montreal, Canada on October 23rd, 2008.
The event resolves around the struggle of the Sabbat, Camarilla and the Inferalists lead by Helena for the Kaymakli Fragment in Montreal. There are a number of special rules for the event including new advanced vampires and Kaymakli Fragment the itself:
This Sabbat vampire may allow you to draw 5 cards from your library as an action (discard afterward). This infernal minion may move 3 blood from the bank to a vampire in your uncontrolled region as a +1 stealth action. Any minion may steal this equipment as a strike.
All of these vampires and card are used storyline only, although there are plans for publishing the pictures of these cards, so it is possible to print and use them for a local (non-official) storyline event.
The full post in the Usenet Newsgroup contains a long fiction section as well as the specific rules for the event.
Details for the first VtES Invitational Tournament have been announced this week. The first of this type of new VtES tournament, named “Legendary Vampire Tournament“, will be held in Montpellier, Franceon December 6th, 2008. In contrast to other VtES tournaments only a selected group of VtES players are invited, which are:
- the top 50 players worldwide,
- the top 25 players of each country, and
- the winners of dedicated qualifier tournaments.
For the first two categories the constructed ranking 60 days prior to the invitational is relevant. You can find the details and more information either in the Usenet newsgroup or on the White Wolf website.
Some more details on the upcoming VtES expansion “Keepers of Tradition” have been disclosed. The new set will contain 100 new vampires, 20 new rare, 20 new uncommon and 20 new common cards. There will also be some starter only vampires.
The card spoilers earlier this week are taken from “Mana Rouge“, a french CCG magazine, which also contains an interview with L. Scott Johnson, taken during the EC 2008 by the french player “ “.
The first spoilers for the next VtES expansion “Keepers of Tradition” have surfaced in the french VtES forum Sabbat in France. As usual I have “blacked out” the spoiler text, so if you mark the text below you can see the card text of the first three vampires and two library cards.
Capacity : 11
Disciplines: cel pro DOM FOR POT PRE
Camarilla Ventrue Inner Circle: Any vampire contesting Hardestadt’s title must yield during his or her untap phase. +1 bleed. +2 strength.
Mary Anne Blaire
Disciplines: ani pot AUS DOM FOR PRE
Camarilla Ventrue Justicar : Mary Anne can move 2 blood from the bank to a vampire in your uncontrolled region as a +1 stealth action. Inner Circle members get -2 bleed while she is ready.
Viktor, The Night General
Disciplines: obf ANI CEL PRE PRO
Independent. +1 stealth.
White Nights Massacre
During your next discard phase, you must burn this card, and you may either burn a vampire in torpor or by tapping a ready werewolf ally you control or discarding a White Nights Massacre from your hand, burn all vampires in torpor.
Unique Wraith with 1 life, 0 strength, 0 bleed.
Ponticuls cannot take actions or have or use equipment. He gets +1 intercept during (D) actions against you. He may tap to give any Tremere +1 intercept. He is immune to non aggravated damage.
Cost: 2 Pool
“Psst… the secret to playing Guard Duty is to make sure you have a guard Hellhound to go with it. The Hellhound can’t act so it’s always ready to attempt to block all those zero stealth burn location actions and force them to play stealth so the guard will finally notice that someone is Rampaging the place. :) “ — Brent Ross
“I’ll play this card that sucks, so this other card that sucks won’t suck so much! Nah, that’s silly. Perhaps if first I Clan Impersonate Gargoyles…” — Salem
Reference: Usenet Newsgroup
To choose for this time for the deck of the month was very hard. With all the EC 2008 finalists’ decks at hand there were so many good choices. For example, the “Unexpected Coalition” deck that David Wittmann piloted to the final of the EC day 1 tournament or the “Una Freak Show” played by Jukub Baranski that made it to the final table of the EC2008. My final choice is Martin Varga’s Akunanse Trophy deck, which he played during the EC Silence of Death tournament and which won the tournament. It shows that a Red List/Trophy deck can actually work quite well, even if the deck archetype is (clearly) no tier-1 deck.
The first goal of the deck is to red list a (preferably soft) target, e.g. an Anarch Convert, a hapless ally like Mylan Horseseed (Goblin), or a nameless Weenie. The second goal is kill the red-listed minion to get first and foremost both a Trophy: Domain and Trophy: Hunting Ground on the same Magaji. Finally the deck aims to mutate into a wall deck deck with the help of Trophy: Domain and No Secrets from the Magaji, which both allow to block a wide range of actions from its prey and predator (where necessary).