This month’s deck is the tournament winning deck “True Power” played by Péter Botos (Hungary). I already mentioned the deck earlier this month in the Decks of Interest article (he was qualifying for the Day 2 tournament of the EC 2010 with this deck), but when Péter managed to win the Hungarian VtES Championship with this deck, this was a welcome opportunity for me to push this deck into the spotlight. The deck is almost similar to the EC version, only Ankara Citadel and Flaming Candle have been removed for one copy each of Tangle Atropos’ Hand and Vaticination.
The deck is based on the True Brujah G5/6, namely Lydia and Al-Muntahir, and is essentially a bleed deck relying on bleed equipment and some Quicksilver Contemplation. Peter uses both True Brujah (paying even the Scarce penalty) to equip with various unique bleed equipment, and then bleed hard with them. Instead of using copious amounts of stealth the deck relies on a number of different angles to outplay opponents:
Summon History has a small yet vital role, namely to fetch the bleed equipment (or Veneficti Mage, if useful).
In a recent discussion on optimal decksize in VtES (on rec.games.trading-cards.jyhad) _angst_ stated:
“And yeah, I know I sound like a complete **** but seriously guys, recent studies have proven most people don’t understand the fundamentals of this games, I’m seriously…“
To which Haze responded:
“I was curious if this were really true, so I conducted an informal survey. I asked several random people on the street some simple questions about the fundamentals of VTES. It turns out most people really don’t understand basic concepts such as gaining stealth, or what the edge is used for. They had no grasp on the Influence phase and transfers. One guy tried to mug me, so I marked him down as understanding combat even though he had no clue that he’s supposed to try to oust his prey.
So this confirms that, yes, most people in the world just don’t know jack about VTES deckbuilding.”
Reference: VtES Usenet Newsgroup
Vampire: The Eternal Struggle Player’s Organization Appoints Robert Goudie to Administrative Board Position
LOS ANGELES, CA – November 20th, 2010 — Johannes Walch, Chairman of the Vampire: Elder Kindred Network, and the organization’s National Coordinators have approved the appointment of Robert Goudie to the V:EKN Administrative Board. Mr. Goudie will serve in the role of Director of Marketing and is charged with keeping existing V:TES players informed and engaged while also endeavoring to attract new players.
Robert Goudie is a former Chairman of the V:EKN and Developer of the Vampire: The Eternal Struggle Players Guide. He has been credited as a developer on several V:TES expansions and has designed V:TES events including the Prophecies League and the Nergal and Eye of Hazimel storylines.
The V:EKN organization is undergoing a revitalization in response to the news that CCP would cease publication of new V:TES expansions. The filling-out of the Administrative Board is an important step by the V:EKN in its effort to support organized play around the world. The V:EKN is in the midst of creating a new website which it expects to launch at the end of the year.
About Vampire: Elder Kindred Network
Founded in 1997, the Vampire: Elder Kindred Network is the official Vampire: The Eternal Struggle Players’ Organization dedicated to the continued health of V:TES. The V:EKN endeavors to help the game grow in popularity through the embracing of new players as well as through the support of the existing fans.
About Vampire: The Eternal Struggle
Vampire: The Eternal Struggle is a Deckmaster™ trading card game set in White Wolf’s popular World of Darkness. Created in 1994 by Richard Garfield as the follow-up to his groundbreaking Magic: The Gathering trading card game, V:TES is one of the most enduring games in the genre with fans and organized play events in countries across the globe.
© Vampire: Elder Kindred Network 2010. All rights reserved.
Director of Marketing
Vampire: Elder Kindred Network
Marketing (/at/) VampireTheEternalStruggle (/dot/) com
.. you can recruit a Rom Gypsy and use their special ability, that is tap to give a Ravnos +1 stealth for the current action, in that same turn? That is, although the Rom Gypsy is moved (face up) to the uncontrolled region as reminder that he cannot act that turn, you can still use the special effect of that ally, in this case tapping for giving a Ravnos stealth.
This, of course, applies to other allies’ special abilities, too, for example the Vagabond Mystic.
Reference: White Wolf VtES Forum
During the VtES European Championship 2010(and later when looking at the decklists) there were quite some interesting trends to notice:
- Bleed or vote decks with midcap (or larger vampires) beginning to pack events that hose weenies beyond Scourge of Enochians. Specifically for the bleed decks this seems to target Weenie Auspex or Weenie Animalism decks, since they tend to play 3 to 5 capacity vampires, which can be hit with events like Nightmare upon Nightmares and Thirst. See these decks as examples: Mr. Mojo Rising, Lasombra G4/5 Black Hand Nocturn or Stanislava & Friends PRO/DOM Vote/Bleed.
- Baali have shown a very strong presence in the tournaments. Not only the Cybele (in its various incarnations) deck, but also Baali bleed decks like Nergal Powerbleed or “simple” Baali Pre/Obf Bleed decks, and vote decks with Arisat and Annazir were seen quite often. One of the major reason for the rise of the Baali decks is that the new Baali vampires (from the Heirs to the Blood expansion) are really good, and Tend the Flock together with Villein is a powerful combination for compensating for the infernal penalty.
- Although Dark Influences was released two years ago (with the Keepers of Tradition expansion), it hadn’t seen that much during the EC 2009. This year it was quite different. Dark Influences was all over the place, with many tables having an Dark Influences in play. The reason? My guess is, that players especially with aggressive decks or relying on certain key actions (for example the Nergal Decks) pack this card, to prevent from being preventing getting a VP by last second Direct Intervention.
- Rush decks suck at big tournaments, big time. For example, a very large number of rush decks in the FCQ ended up in the bottom third of the field (100th place+). The reason for that, I guess in most games players tend to gang up on the few rush decks, being ousted crosstable or backwards playing these decks is often seen.
During the VtES EC 2010there was a strong tendency towards known and strong decks, which had proven to give players sure game wins (and sometimes even) tournament wins. For example regarding bleed decks, there were basically four types of decks:
- Kindred Spirits Stealth Bleed (including both weenie Dementation version and the version with larger vampires and more Obfuscate)
- Kiasyd or Lasombra Stealth Bleed (mostly with the G4/5 vampires) with or without Nocturns
- Giovanni Powerbleed
- Ventrue feat. Edward Vignes Bleed
In addition some, but not many Weenie Dominate, Baali Obf/Pre S&B or Gerald Windham & Friends Bleed decks showed up.
Or in other words, there were very few “rogue” decks with new and/or at least some surprising tricks. Some of the more interesting decks of the EC (not already shown as finalist’s decks) include the following:
- Legendary Vampire(October 29th, 2010)
- The Blood Brothers Kiev Bleed deck played by Jakub B. (POL) played, is built around the in-circle disciplines Sanguinus, Fortitude and Protean, but basically is stealth bleed deck with strong bloat component using 16 copies of Unwholesome Bond.
- A Cybele/Lutz/Unmada deck was played by Otso S. (FIN), which basically runs the same engine as the now classic Cybele/Aksinya/Inner Circle deck, but uses Derangement to gain vote control on the table. The deck is not entirely new and already won the Finnish ECQ tournament earlier this year.
- This is a Al-Munthahir & Friends Summon History built by The Lasombra and played by Robyn T. (USA). Key to this political deck is Summon History which is used to put several big cap titled Sabbat and Camarilla vampires on play.
- Last Chance Qualifier(October 29th, 2010)
- Christophe B. (FRA) fielded a Lasombra G4/5 feat. Appius Black Hand Nocturn deck, which was a nice of change of pace in comparison to the other Lasombra & Kiasyd Stealth Bleed decks. The deck uses a significantly different crypt consisting of Appius Claudius Corvus and his Lasombra Black Hand friends, and uses a few cards requiring the Black Hand to great effect.
- When looking at the Midcap G2/3 Obf/Dom Ally “Stuff” deck, which was played by Otto K. (FIN), I am still wondering how this deck is gonna work. It has several minions with Dominate and/or Obfuscate, yet chooses to play Computer Hacking. The main vampire is Kyoko Shinsegawa, but the only card requiring a discipline she can play is Deflection. I mean, it looks like a bloat/swarm bleed deck, but it appears to be less effective than it could be. On the other hand it scored 1 GW 5.5 in the LCQ tournament.
- One of the most interesting deck is the Followers of Set feat. Nakhthorheb Chameleon played by Marko S. (FIN). He uses Nakhthorheb, which becomes first Baron, then plays Chameleon to take control of vampires just moved to the ready region. The trick mainly works in the first half of the game, when Nakhthorheb is influenced quickly using Eternals of Sirius, but can be pulled off later as well with the help of Banishment.
- Another deck based on Al-Muntahir is the Al-Muntahir Summon History Powerbleed used by Tomas W. (SWE) in the LCQ tournament. This time Summon History helps to gather a truckload of bleed equipment and bleed retainers, to finally be able to bleed for 7 without playing a card. Quite similar to an Una Freakshow deck ..
- The Followers of Set G4/5 feat. Cybele Illomba Set’s Curse deck built and played by Ivan M. (SWE) made it Deck of the Month September 2010. Read more there about this unique deck.
- Teemu S. (FIN) played Arika/Tyler & Lasombra Friends Baltimore Purge. The deck uses Arika and especially Tyler to be able to first put down a number of opposing vampires using Baltimore Purge, and then diablerize one or more vampires with the help of Tyler’s special ability to untap after she diablerize a vampire.
- Similar to Robyn’s deck (see above), the Al-Muntahir/Inner Circle Summon History as played by Martin S. (NOR) summons Inner Circle members to do their master’s bidding. This deck is not as focused as voting as Robyn’s, but has a stronger ally angle.
- Frode L. (NOR) uses his Nadima/Mirembe/Nehsi Pro/Set Hatch the Viper Rush deck to setup his vampires superior Protean & Serpentis with a number of Hatch the Viper retainers, and then rushes his opponents to put them down
- What do you do when you want to play Weenie vote deck and you’re in need of some extra votes? Put 17 Orun in it, or at least that’s what Benjamin B. (FRA) did with his Weenie Laibon Orun Vote. Similar to the Team Africa deck, the deck uses the different Laibon clans for gaining vote majority at the table without spending too much pool on its vampires.
- EC 2010 Day 1(October 30th, 2010)
- EC 2010 Day 2(October 31st, 2010)
- First Chance Qualifier(October 31st, 2010)
- Emiliano I. (ITA) with 2 GW 7 nearly reached the final in the FCQ. He played a Tzimisce G2/3 Maris Streck War Ghoul nicknamed “Wallghouls“. The deck has strong control angle with Maris Streck’s special, and it becomes even stronger when (in addition to Unmasking) the War Ghouls are granted the intercept Maris Streck provides.
- Kristofer Å. (SWE) with his Assamite G4/5 Black Hand Contract deck in the first place looks like a standard (usually not very successful) rush combat deck, but in fact this deck has more to offer. It uses not only the Black Hand angle, specifically Black Hand Contract, but also the Anarch angle for the use of Steely Tenacity, giving the Assamites a copious amount of rushes.
- The Mata Hari & Friends Vote/Sensory Deprivation deck played by Pierre-Denis B. (FRA) is another Mata Hari deck. The deck is rather toolboxy, but interestingly the deck has strong vote angle with various political locations, but also Sensory Deprivation as backup plan.
- The Maureen & Friends Infernal Servitor was played by Pieter H. (NED) and built by his fellow countryman Izaak H. The deck uses the classic Dominate/Obfuscate bleed mechanism for ousting. Beyond that it has an added strong Baali angle with Unleash Hell’s Fury for defense and Infernal Servitor and Greater Curse for offense
- Let me present you the most focused deck in all of the EC 2010 tournament decks. This Brujah G1/2 Weenie Arms Dealer Flash Grenade deck was played by Christian N. (DEN). When looking at the deck you’ll see that it has only 11 different library cards. For my point of view it might get a bit boring to play after a while, but it sure has focus. The basic trade of the deck is to equip the arms dealers (and/or Weenie Brujah) with Camera Phones and bleed your opponent with a horde a Weenies and Arms Dealers. If blocked play Concealed Weapon on Flash Grenade and thereby keep the opposing vampire tapped for his next turn.
I am not saying all of these decks are truly good and well-executed, but all of them (some more, some less) were a welcome change to a lot of standard decks seen during the EC. You can find (a few) extra EC 2010 decks on Secret Library when entering “EC 2010” as title in the deck search form.