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.