Yesterday the VEKN/Black Chantry has announced an open playtest for contesting vampires in VTES. Instead of both vampires being turned face down and being out of play, the contested vampires stay in play. The cost of contesting of 1 pool each turn remains until one player yields (or is ousted from the game).
Here are the changes in detail:
- A contested vampire remains in play. Their controller must pay 1 pool to continue to contest them, or yield during the unlock phase, but can play with them normally (act, block, play cards, cast votes or ballots etc.). If this vampire has a title that is also contested, the vampire must pay 1 blood point to keep it, as usual.
- It is still forbidden to contest a vampire with oneself, and if this were to happen, the last vampire to enter play would be immediately burned, as usual.
- This concerns both vampires influenced from the crypt and unique vampires brought into play with library cards (Abomination, Call the Great Beast etc.)
- Unique library cards (including allies) and imbued are still unaffected by this rule change.
The VEKN wants to test if this a viable change, and asks players around the world to test this change (in non-tournament games) and answer a couple of questions regarding the effects.
The rule for contesting vampires was always quite controversial, because if in a given game two players fielded a deck which heavily relied on a single vampire (“star vampire”), typically both player’s game suffered tremendously by the contest. The contest of said star vampire then often allowed a third player to scoop up a game win easily. On the other hand, removing this contest rule can also lead to decreased diversity in decks, that is, players are more willing to play often dominant decks like Stanislava & Friends Dominate, or Unnamed Bleed, etc. With that regard, I like the idea of having an open playtest to be able evaluate the impact of the rules change, instead of just shoving down such a significant change the VTES communities throat and stating “to deal with it”.
Also quite interesting is the fact, that the Imbued are still contested the old way, when even library cards that are put into play as unique vampires are no longer subject to the original contesting rules. I would really like to hear about the reasons why Imbued are handled differently than the other crypt cards.
Read the full announcement on Black Chantry’s website here, which also includes a FAQ on the issue.