While I enjoyed playing and watching an Imbued deck when the VtES expansion “Nights of Reckoning” was fresh out the print machine, I now detest seeing an Imbued deck in a VtES game. You might ask “Why?” and I will give you 10 good reasons why I hate the Imbued:
- Imbued decks slow down the game
- Explanation: This often not because the Imbued player himself how to play Imbued cards, but the other players are often not very accustomed to the Imbued specifics. So they need constantly to ask what a specific card does or need to examine the numerous cards the Imbued player controls.
- Imbued do not interact well with other players, for example
- Other players do not interact well with Imbued.
- Explanation/Examples: This is not a problem with ally-based decks in general, since it usually affects only a portion of the controlled minions, but when cards don’t affect allminions of a particular deck, this deficit matters.
- Imbued are (too) predictable.
- More often than not you can calculate how much stealth or intercept an Imbued will have, when looking at the cards on the table.
- .. but it takes time and experience to calculate this quickly.
- Imbued have an extra role when compared with other allies.
- An Imbued does not die when he lost his last life.
- There are several ways of regaining life for an Imbued.
- An Imbued is considerably harder to steal when protected by “React with Conviction“.
- Imbued have defacto-permanent resources, to which other decks have only very limited access to.
- Explanation: Each and every Imbued can easily have (semi-)permanent +1 stealth or +1 intercept by using “Second Sight” or +1 bleed or +1 strength by using “Strike with Conviction“. Through the recursion of the Convictions in the untap phase (or other means), this is a defacto permanent effect.
- The distinct feel of vampires & their clans is missing.
- Explanation: There are no clans, no bloodlines, only creeds. But still you don’t play “Avengers” or “Judges” creeds, you just play “Imbued“.
- There’s little to no variation in an Imbued crypt.
- Explanation: Due to small number of Imbued (20 in total), there are too few variations in the crypt. Each and every Imbued deck worth its salt includes “Travis ‘Traveler72’ Miller” and “Jennie ‘Cassie247’ Orne“, but I have yet to see an Imbued deck that features “Pedro Cortez” or “Francois ‘Warder’ Loehr” or “Xian ‘DziDzati55’ Quan“.
- Imbued need two discard piles.
- Explanation: For ease of play, Imbued players need two ash heaps, one for the regular cards and one for Convictions, since they need to move back Convictions very frequently. Otherwise it just takes too much time for the Imbued player to sift through his ashheap each untap phase to search for Convictions.
- The disabling Gehenna events are just too good for the Imbued (or too bad for the other players using regular vampire crypts).
- Explanation: The Imbued can efficiently use disabling Events which screw all vampired-based decks, but not the Imbued, especially “Blood Weakens”, “Veil of Darkness”, “Slow Withering” and “Wormwood” are greatly diminishing the play of players relying on a regular vampire crypt.
Luckily the Imbued got a little bit powered down with the ban of “Memories of Mortality” and even more important with the ban of “Edge Explosion“. But still the main problems with the Imbued, comprehension and interaction as explained above exist.
Hopefully there will never be a (standalone) expansion (for Werewolves/Mages/Wraiths/Changelings) that introduces the same kind of mechanism set.