In reference to the “Legacies of Blood Top Ten” list made by Greg Williams in January 2006, I would like to show you a similar list, namely the top ten of the “Lords of the Night” expansion, at least from my point of view:
Top Ten Library Cards
- “Reckless Agitation” — finally a new political card that is a real alternative to “Conservative Agitation” or “Kine Resources Contested“; also nice to see that the requirement is an independent vampire making thus an incentive to build and play such a deck. Also nicely balanced with the cost of 2 blood and the inability to play the card once it’s a one-on-one sitatuation at the table.
- “Monster” — Multi-Rush without “Freak Drive” (or “Fortitude” in general)! This card is a must of every Rush deck worth its salt. Put it on a vampire with a built-in rush and you’ve got a multi-rush engine.
- “Khazar’s Diary” — this card together with “Spell of Life” make the basis to build a deck around it. Play some “Khazaar’s Diary” and use some cheap allies, which can be burned easily, and you’ve got yourself a viable deck strategy.
- “Target Vitals” — this is the card that nearly made “Potence” obsolete. The +2 damage is the same as for superior “Undead Strength” or an “Increased Strength“. The only real disadvantage is the ability of the opponent to cancel the effects of the card, but hey, it does not require any disciplines.
- “Murmur of the False Will” — this one is a very strong combo card. It combines the bleed capabilities of “Threats” with the bounce ability of “Redirection“. Whereas normally you need to discard the “Dominate” bleed bounce cards in a heads-up situation, you can now use (or cycle) them in these situations.
- “Preternatural Strength” — finally a new non-strike “Potence” card, and it also gives a permanent +2 strength to the acting vampire. Gentleman, we have a winner. Sure you cannot combine with Torn Signpost, but on the other hand you do need to play one now you’re strength is increased by +2.
- “Camera Phone” — cheap bleed equipment. Although it is not combinable with a bleed action like “Computer Hacking” or “Govern the Unaligned“, but what the heck, it’s for free!! This card we will see very often, and it will replace “Laptop Computers” almost completely.
- “Loss” — a strong bleed card for “Quietus. With this card “Bruise & Bleed” or “Stealth & Bleed” becomes a viable deck strategy for the “Assamites“. Before this “Assamites” had to rely on non-clan disciplines like “Presence” or “Dominate“.
- “Mesu Bedshet” — made for building a crypt machine deck: make a transfer of crypt cards to your uncontrolled with the chance to gain two blood. Combined with “Enchant Kindred” it can make bring out a 4 cap vampire from your crypt to your controlled region in a single turn without spending any transfers at all.
- “Vessel” — the “Blood Doll“-killer it’s was dupped early after the card text of “Vessel” had been spoiled. After six month of seeing the card played, I am not so sure anymore. What looked in the first place as an overpowered card, it is finely tuned instead. The advantages (trifle and removes a “Blood Doll” from play) are in balance to the disadvantages (costs a pool and can only be used in the next turn).
Top Ten Crypt Cards
- “Nakhthorheb” — the star vampire for new era “Followers of Set” decks; his build-in untap along with he him unblockable by minions with corruptions counters, make him a formidable vampire. Even though he “only” has his three clan-disciplines at superior!
- “Vasiliy Vasilevich” — a “Ravnos” with +1 bleed with “Chimerstry” (i.e. access to stealth), who untaps after a succesful bleed? ‘Nuff said.
- “Jamal” — though he’s a “Assamite” on the “Red List“, he has three extras on the positive side. 2 votes, +1 bleed, and +1 strength when battling Camarilla vampires is nothing to be ashamed of.
- “Guillaume Giovanni” — gives the player +1 handsze for each location you control; play him with “Therbold Realty” and bulkload of locations like “Storage Annex” or even “Slaughterhouses“, and your handsize can easily increase to 15 or 20.
- “Durga Syn” — a “Ravnos” does not tap for blocking vampires below 5 (similar to “Justine the Elder“) can easily build the basis for an intercept deck. Give her a “Sniper Rifle” and you got yourself a one man wall.
- “Gwen Brand” — a capacity 3 “Ravnos whose discipline combo is unusual for a “Ravnos“. But her special ability let’s her explode once she gains the 4 counters after a Gehenna event has been played.
- “Lorenzo Detuono” — a “Giovanni” with a special ability to take control vampires (or allies) he sents to torpor. Also a candidate to build a deck upon.
- “Sajid al Misbah” — though smallish, he’s special ability for not paying for “Quietus” cards makes the difference. Good luck he has superior “Quietus“, too.
- “Giovanni del Georgio” — a vampire who can single handedly ruin the strategy of Imbued deck, by removing the Convictions from an Imbued player’s ash heap. And he’s gaining 3 blood from the action, too. You can also use his special for paying for “Shambling Hordes” or just for bloating.
- “Lady Constancia” — a capacity 10 “Giovanni” with two votes, and a most interesting special. She’s capable of drawing cards from the ashheap, albeit only as a discard phase action while burning the “Edge” and discarding a card at random.
But where’s light there’s also darkness (or was it the other way around in the “World of Darkness“). Some cards when shown in the preview or spoiled on the Usenet newsgroup wasn’t as promising as it looked in the first place.
- “Bundi” — this equipment looks nice in the first place, but is way too expensive for the advantage gained. If you want additional damage play “Preternatural Strength” instead, it cannot be stolen, or it’s use prevented by “Drawing out the Beast” or “Terror Frenzy“.
- “Autonomic Mastery” — the preview talked about the fabled “Strike: Combat Ends” that works even under “Immortal Grapple“. Yes, this card does it, but it is only usable on close range and only in combat with a younger vampire (or ally). What the card is good for is burning an opposing ally like a “Warghoul” or “Shambling Hordes” which are otherwise often hard to kill for “Dominate“-based decks. On the other hand there’s still “Far Mastery” …
- “Lost in Translation” — granted it is bleed bounce with any discipline requirements, but the card itself has too many restrictions to see widespread use, and it costs two blood. So it only makes sense to play the card in deck with high capacity vampires with no access to “Dominate” or “Auspex” in an environment where you see bleeds of 4 or higher on a regular basis.
In summary “Lords of the Night” is the most interesting expansion of the past years, offering a wide variety of new and interesting cards and a whole bunch of ideas to build decks upon.