I haven’t posted much in the past months and beside some laziness on my side, I think there’s so much left to talk about in VtES these days. Only from time to time I can pull myself together, and post some thoughts and ramblings on VtES topics.
I am a huge fan of playing Ally decks, from Imbued to War Ghouls, from Nocturns to Arms Dealers. Usually one of the cornerstones of any ally based deck is The Unmasking, of course, providing solid defensive capabilities for allies by giving the well-known +1 intercept against vampires. Lately, and especially when playing against one of our local players (Martin with this Black Plague deck), I have seen a few plays of Fourth Cycle. This usually immediately wrecks the ally deck’s game, since it destroys The Unmasking (and possibly even more Gehenna events you may have already played). To add insult to injury, Fourth Cycle also prevents the play of any further Gehenna cards. In last week’s Bochum league game, I was running several Gehenna events in a discipline-less Piper War Ghoul deck. When Fourth Cycle hit the table early in the game, not only the Unmasking and Slow Withering was destroyed right away, but also the remaining three Gehenna cards in my 65 card deck became dead weight instantly. It also doesn’t make sense to wait for the Fourth Cycle to be played before playing The Unmasking, because of the total ban of Gehenna cards by Fourth Cycle.
So now the question now is:
To be, or not to be?
Or in other words, do I need to add Not to Be to my Ally decks, which (more or less) heavily rely on The Unmasking? You may ask, how realistic is it that another player is being able to play Fourth Cycle at all, considering the card requires to Gehenna cards in play? I think, there’s a reasonable chance. If I am playing an Ally deck, sooner or later the Unmasking is on the table, perhaps the player with the Fourth Cycle in his deck is also playing a few (gateway) Events like the Break the Code or Blood Trade. And because of the popularity of multiple master phase actions, there’s often Anthelios to be found in games as well, especially in tournaments.
After some consideration, I do think, it’s a good a idea to add one or two (depending on the actual deck size) Not To Be to my ally decks. You don’t need the card right away, like with many other silver bullets, since Fourth Cycle needs some preparation as well (in the form of that two Gehenna cards in play). But since Fourth Cycle can have such a devastating effect on Ally based decks, it’s worth a try.