The Deck of the Month for July/August 2015 is the tournament winning deck “Anu Gets A Blood” by Bram van Stappen (BEL), who won the Last Chance Qualifier to the French National Championship 2015 with this deck. The deck is a rather untypical ally bleed deck build around Anu Diptinatpa and the Procurer ally. The Procurers together with Anu’s special ability to spent a blood to give a minion(!) an extra +1 bleed, serve two purposes. The first is to bleed for one with Anu’s help, and the second one is to provide Anu with an extra blood (hence the deck’s name) for future bleed modification. If you dare to block, the third angle of the deck is kicking in: with Concealed Weapon & Flash Grenade the minions are able end combat and to tap down an opposing vampire easily for the next untap phase. The deck list lists very inconspicuous, but it’s fast, and puts a lot of pressure on its prey with a horde of minions.
As usual a couple of other decks were quite interesting in these two months.
- The Malk Trollbox deck by Samir Sardinha (BRA) shows nicely that a Malkavian antitribu deck can be something different than just a Dementation Bleed deck (with or without Obfuscate). The deck is toolboxish wall using Auspex/Dementation for blocking, including a total 20(!) combo cards which gives the deck a lot of flexibility.
- The Gangrel antitribu small/midcap bleed decks have become quite popular since the release of The Unaligned. But that’s actually not that surprisingly because the expansion had a plethora of useful library and crypt cards for the Gangrel antitribu in general (and the City Gangrel in particular). The on the latest example is the deck Loving you was like loving the dead as played by Desso Alastor (BRA).
- The last deck on the list is Brandon Haas’ (USA) deck “Laying the Foundation“. At first, glancing over the crypt, I was thinking that this might be a variation of a typical Weenie/Midcap Animalism deck. But there’s more to this deck, it’s actually a decent bleed deck. In the first place, it conserves a lot of pool with Founders of the Ebony Kingdom and has some multi-act (and other) capabilities with Guruhi Are the Land to tool up, before it starts bleeding in earnest.
The Deck of the Month for May/June 2015 is the tournament winning deck “It’s A Friendly Deck, Don’t Trust The Setites” built by Randal Rudstam (SWE) and played by Jens Johansson (SWE), who won the Finnish ECQ (RopeCon) 2015 with this deck. The deck is a Followers of Set political deck, and even though it contains only one new Followers of Set crypt card, Sarrasine (ADV), he is one of the key vampires in the deck), it uses a larger number of library cards from the Danse Macabre and The Unaligned expansions.
In general, a whole lot of decks lately have been using cards from The Unaligned and Danse Macabre. One reason why this post has been released very late, was that were a couple of equally interesting decks in the May/June period around. Most of these candidates are also using a variety of different cards from latest VTES PDF-expansions. And I just couldn’t decide, which deck to chose. So in a sense Randal’s and Jens’ deck is only “primus inter pares” among those 5 decks.
- Anarch Gangrel Pre Bleed played Peter Ducai (CZE) uses a very wide variety of Anarch-based cards and is build around Brunhilde and the Valkyries.
- Danilo Torrisi (ITA) has won a tournament with his Serpentis Vote deck, which also uses Velvet Tongue, but otherwise uses the well-known Cybele /Undele /Ashur Tablets module for card recursion.
- Weenie Fortitude Soaked played by Bram van Stappen (BEL) is a Weenie Swarm bleed deck, but with nasty Rush/Fortitude/Molotov Cocktail twist.
- A different kind of deck is the Matasuntha Multi-Rush as played by Milán Horváth (HUN). The deck is similar to the Enkidu Multi-Rush decks with its use of smaller cap vampires as support, and one star vampire (Matasuntha) for the heavy-duty work. The main combat angle is the +2 strength of the vampire and Psyche. Quite interestingly the deck really focuses on the rush aspect and does not use the Auspex/block capabilities of that the deck could provide potentially.
Created with Secret Library v0.9.4c. (Oct 8, 2015 18:55:47)
The Deck of the Month for March/April 2015 is the tournament winning deck “Paella Black Hand (Abrazo’s Pagüer)” by Txus Alutiz (ESP). The deck is a Toreador antitribu Palla Grande Bleed deck with a significant Black Hand angle. Beside the regular Palla Grande build, the deck includes Gerald FitzGerald which allows (beside Mustajib) the Toreador antitribu weenies to become Black Hand a lot faster. Combined with Palla Grande, the Watchtower Wolves Feed enables all Toreador antitribu (including the twelve Embraces) to bleed for two at +1 stealth. Not easy too stop once both cards are on the table.
Two more decks were standing out this month and are worth :
- Mercury’s Adept by Gabriele Bugliani (ITA) — a Weenie Celerity (group 1-2) with some Ashur tech and most importantly Projectile. I am really wondering how effective this card really turned out to be ..
- Baali Maleficia by Oriol Pubill (ESP) — this is an Unnamed & Hordes stealth bleed deck which includes some Maleficia cards for offense and defense.
The Deck of the Month for January/February 2015 is the tournament winning deck “Heart of Stone” by Mailton Silva (BRA). The deck is a block/rush combat deck based on the group 4/5 Gargoyles. I have chosen this deck, because you don’t see Gargoyle decks winning tournaments that often if these Gargoyles are not Tupdogs, and in contrast to the typical Tupdog deck, this deck has some decent intercept to stay in the game. The stars of the deck are Chaundice and Rocia, both having a useful combat special ability.
As usual, there were quite a few interesting decks beside the Deck of the Month in January & February. In each case, the decks are not your typical tournament winning powerhouses, but rather toolbox decks with cards that are from the latest expansions or with cards you see rarely at the final table of the tournament, let alone winning it.
- Giovanni mini powerbleed with goods by Lex Pike (USA) — what’s unusual about this deck is the extensive use of Shroud Mastery in this deck, as well as the first inclusion of Funeral’s Wake in a TWD. I regard Funeral’s Wake one of the better cards in The Unaligned, and I think we’ll see that card more often in finals, and not necessarily restricted to Giovanni decks.
- Vem para mim by Tiago Deividy (BRA) — this deck is actually an golden oldie, and is based on the combined use of Free States Rant & Temptation. What I like about the deck is that it remains toolboxish, that is it also uses other cards like Enticement & Entrancement or Disputed Territory to achieve its goals. And as said above, you don’t see it very often in tournaments anymore.
- Locksmith by Marko Lindroos (FIN) — The last deck is an Imbued deck, that doesn’t do its variation of Vigilance & Leather Jacket. I think, it’s really one of the very, very few Imbued decks, that uses cards minion cards requiring a Creed other than a Power card (or a Conviction). The main card of the deck is Lock, which is used to deprive opposing minions of their blood/life. Later in the game Unity allows to retrieve those Locks, that have been burned (or blocked). In this Lock is (indirectly) assisted by other cards like Hunger Moon or Vampiric Disease. Very nice indeed and rarely seen in this shape.
After having presented six “Decks of the Month” in the past year, I have asked you to pick the Deck of the Year 2014. 158 votes have been cast in this poll.
So the winner for the Deck of Year 2014 is Giulio De Cicco (ITA) with his “Mimir” deck. Congratulations to Giulio for building and winning with this deck. Unfortunately for the winner, there is no actual prize support for this “award” other than your five minutes of fame.
- Mar/Apr 2014: Mimir by Giulio De Cicco (ITA) — a Gangrel antitribu Bleed deck feat. Mimir — 32.91% (52 votes).
- Jul/Aug 2014: Black Suit, Silver Bullet by Roberto Mautone (BRA) — a Toreador Wall deck with a plan. — 15.19% (24 votes).
- Nov/Dec 2014: Kirkonrottia ja muita uskonnollisia juttuja by Marko Lindroos (FIN) — an Imbued/Rockcat crossover — 15.19% (24 votes).
- May/Jun 2014: 419 forms of corruption by Matus Kovalcik (SVK) — 419 Operation times Form of Corruption — 13.29% (21 votes).
- Jan/Feb 2014: Crazy Magic by Jorge Verdi (ESP) — a Aus/Dem/Tha/Obf Big Cap. Toolbox deck — 12.66% (20 votes).
- Sep/Oct 2014: Miam Miam by Guilhem Marrannes (FRA) — a Big Cap Amaranth deck — 10.76% (17 votes).
After having presented six VtES Decks of the Month in the past year here’s the poll for you to pick the Deck of the Year 2014 (see sidebar on the right). There is no actual prize support for this “award” other than your five minutes of fame.
The poll will be closed on February 6th, 2015 (18:00 CET).
The Deck of the Month for November/December 2015 is Kirkonrottia ja muita uskonnollisia juttuja as played by Marko Lindroos (FIN). Translated the deck’s name is “Church Rats & Other Religous Stuff“. It is a crossover deck, one half a Rock Cat, the other half an Imbued, making that a combination I haven’t seen before. Despite a single Disarm, the deck uses only discipline-less library cards, which allows the deck to run a couple of Gehenna events which hamper the regular discipline based decks. Also noteworthy is the lack of Imbued Powers. I would attribute that to the intent of keeping the deck small and focused.
Again in the months of December and November, there were a couple of decks, either conceptually or breathing fresh life into old concepts:
- Anu’s Hordes by Sebastian Fredenberg – a nice Shambling Hordes with a few tricks and some new cards from The Unaligned which help the deck. For example, Gianna di Canneto can help the Shamblers cope with gun decks.
- Osebo Flung Junk by Ben Peal (USA) — this deck is interesting not the least because it was build from two Obsebo starter decks (and a few additions).
- Lucian the Perfect by Djordje Sutic (SER) — this deck features a rarely seen combination of disciplines (Ani, Aus, Dom, Pot), and makes Lucian it’s star vampire mainly because of this combat special (although it doesn’t hurt (most of the time) to have +3 bleed either).
- Methuselah by Desso Alastor (BRA) — another interesting deck conceptually. Like the Anson Anarch Revolt decks from the past, it has a very,very high master card ratio and avoids direct interaction with other player’s minion as much as possible.
The Deck of the Month for October/September 2014 is the tournament winning deck Miam Miam played by Guilhem Marrannes (FRA). When you’re looking at the crypt for the first time, you expect some sort of bleed or vote deck, but when you’re scrolling down the library section of the deck, you’ll be surprised that it’s actually a wallish combat deck (almost 50% of the library cards are combat cards). When dunking an opponent to torpor, one of the three big caps then uses Amaranth (and optimally also Ritual of the Bitter Rose) to diablerize immediately. And having +2 bleed doesn’t hurt either once when you’re done with your prey’s vampire.
There were some more interesting decks in August and September, namely
- Pain is the new gain by Riccardo Fabiani (ITA) — a Brujah antribu Vote/Rush deck with lots of Danse Macabre cards in it.
- Gon tenía razón .. by Txus Alutiz (ESP) — a Nergal & Nahum Enosh Toolbox deck.
- Saulot’s Snakes by Marcio Rilley (BRA) — a Salubri/Followers of Set Spirit Marionette deck.
The Deck of the Month for July/August 2014 is the tournament winning deck “Black Suit, Silver Bullet” played by Roberto Mautone (BRA). Although it looks like your run-of-the-mill Gun/Ranged Weapons Wall deck, I like the deck conceptually, because it has specific game plan. The first thing the deck needs to do, is to put a Reversal of Fortunes into play, reversing the order of play. The second step is then then to drop a Smiling Jack, The Anarch and Millicent Smith into play (preferably in the same round). In addition to the deterrence of the ranged weapons, Milicent (which now moves always to the acting player) moves another barrier into play.
As always, in these two months, there were some more decks of interest.
- Anarch For-Cel rush played by Marcello Bertocchi (ITA) — this is a nice show case how a successful For/Cel Anarch deck can look like.
- The Remarkable Beauty of the Dog/Warghoul Synergy v2 played by Ginés Quiñonero (ESP) — as the deck name suggests, this is a nice War Ghoul deck, which feeds on the Underbridge Strays (of course, they don’t die before helping the War Ghouls to untap or providing them a press).
- Two Trick Pony played by Craig Love (AUS) — Pariah and Henry Taylor are the two ponies (so to speak) the deck is based on. Pariah as offensive rush element, Henry as defensive player.
The Deck of the Month for May/June 2014 is the tournament winning deck “419 forms of corruption” played by Matus Kovalcik (SVK). The deck main angle is the Osebo card 419 Operation, but instead of defending the 419 Operation (see the Deck of the Month Oct 2014 for comparison), this deck uses Form of Corruption to either prevent his prey from bleeding (and inflicting damage via 419 Operation) or takes control of his prey vampires permanently if his prey bleeds and removes the 419 Operations. A very close second was the deck Wildwood Sorceres played by Johannes Walch (GER), which is an interesting Gangrel/Gangrel antitribu big cap combat which uses four different disciplines (Ani, For, Pro and Tha).
It was nice to see that there were quite a number of interesting decks in May/June, among them (in my opinion) were the following:
- Interestingly there were two Lorrie Dunsirn decks victorious in May/June tournaments. Lorrie goes nuts small cap by Hugh Angseesing (UK) is POT/dom Rush deck, while Lorrie’s 1st armored division by Matt Piatek (US) uses Fortitude in addition to POT in combat (hence the “Armored”).
- Also two somewhat similar Samedi decks made it to the top, Danske Danske Revolution by David Litwin (USA) and Meat Shield by Ben Peal (USA).. Both use massive amount of Freak Drives (20+) to bleed and bloat, and Little Mountain Cemetery (as expected) and Dark Mirror of the Mind (not so expected) for actual pool generation.David’s deck is a more toolboxy, while Ben’s believe in the power of repetition (also with the help of Ashur Tablets).
- Interesting from a technical point of view is the deck Rule of Four by Adam Hulse, which is a 4CL (four card limit) deck. Although it highlights the viability of 4CL decks in general, 4CL as a concept is still not a viable rules options for VTES.
- Finally I wanted to name Steve Coombs Memorial by John McGlynn (USA). The deck as such is a toolboxy, which might not even been a tier-2 deck, but the story behind the deck makes it noteworthy. The deck’s star vampire is Egothha, which actually depicts Steve Coombs a long time US VTES player who sadly passed away earlier this year.
The month’s deck for March/April 2014 is the tournament winning deck Mimir played by Giulio De Cicco (ITA). It’s a Gangrel antitribu deck build around Mimir as his star vampire. The basic idea is to have him recruit/equip with +bleed stuff as quick as possible, and then bleed for 4+ as often as possible without having to fear that another player uses Archon Investigation. The deck also has some toolbox elements such as Marked Territory and Abbot. The deck also has a few sets of the old combo Force of Will and Movement of the Slow Body, but I am not sure if I would dare to play it with Mimir himself.
The other deck I would like to mention is Dmitra’s Show of Force played by Matias Frosterus (FIN). The card also uses some of the new cards from Danse Macabre. It’s a nice toolboxish Bruise & Bleed deck based on the Brujah and Brujah antitribu clans.
Otherwise there was bit too much (Tzimisce) Wall and (Ventrue antitribu) Grinder decks around ..
A little bit late, but the Deck of the Month for Jan./Feb. 2014 is the tournament winning deck “Crazy Magic” played by Jorge Verdi (ESP). The deck is four discipline deck (Tha/Dem/Obf/Aus) big cap toolbox. It looks a bit slow (and it is certainly vulnerable during the start of the game), but I like the concept and the use of all four disciplines as well as the crypt selection, which is also rather unusual. Not that these vampires (Louhi, Pentiqua, Williamn Biltmore and Lazarus James) are shabby, on the contrary, but you just don’t see them very often in tournament decks. The deck has a slow build-up and is rather toolboxy, but in the end it can control its opponents with its vampires special abilities and the selection of equipment fetched with Magic of the Smith.
This month had no clear uber-Deck (this includes the winner), but a number of strong and/or interesting decks. So the choice for the winning deck was pretty hard to make:
- Vincent Ripoll (FRA), after entering last year’s EC final with this deck, has won the second tournament with his deck named With a little help from Giotto. It’s a classic Obf/Pre/Dom Vote Bleed deck, but with the help of Giotto he’s able to burn through his library to get the cards he needs in a given situation.
- I do like crossover deck, and this is one of them. Radoslaw Staszewski (POL) plays the deck named Cybele with Cats!, which is a combination of Cybele Multi-MPA and a Rockcat rush combat deck.
- A little Weenie revival could be seen in Jan/Feb., namely the wins by Roner Oliveira‘s (BRA) Children’s Sabbath deck, which is a Sabbat weenie vote deck, and Reginaldo Oliveira‘s (BRA) Winning Grinder, which is a Weenie Computer Hacking w/ Guns deck.
- Matt Wedge (USA) won a tournament with his mono-Valeren(!) combat deck Big strong man like you…. Winning with the Salubri antitribu is no little feat, but with mono-Valeren it is quite remarkable!
- Last not least, David Sharpe (RSA) has like the winner a four discipline deck (named Enchanting Truth mainly based on Obfuscate & Presence, but also Temporis and Auspex feat. Al-Muntahir as the star vampire. The basic idea is to recruit a critical mass of vampires using Enchant Kindred , and then bleeding your prey to death using Obfuscate and Presence.
After having presented eight “Decks of the Month” in the past year, I have asked you to pick the Deck of the Year 2013. 125 votes have been cast in this poll.
So the winner for the Deck of Year 2013 is Martin Schumacher (GER) with his “The Black Plague” deck. Congratulations to Martin for building and winning with this deck. Unfortunately for the winner, there is no actual prize support for this “award” other than your five minutes of fame.
- November 2013: The Black Plague by Martin Schumacher (GER) — 26.4% (33 votes)
- October 2013: 419-911 by Bram van Stappen (BEL) — 24% (30 votes)
- Jan/Feb 2013: Mano negra illegal 2012 by Gergo Gyarmati (HUN) — 19.2% (24 votes)
- May/Jun 2013: Captain, oh my captain! by Danilo Torrisi (ITA) — 13.6% (17 votes)
- December 2013: Sujinho by Fernanda Nunes (BRA) — 7.2% (9 votes)
- Mar/Apr 2013: Potence Princes by Gergo Gyarmati (HUN) — 4.8% (6 votes)
- Jul/Aug 2013: Mata Hari is the Founder by Adam Hulse (USA) — 2.4% (3 votes)
- September 2013: Tes une fille et tu n’as pas de shampoing by Jorge Delgado (ESP) — 2.4% (3 votes)
After having presented ten VtES decks of the month in the past year here’s the poll for you to pick the Deck of the Year 2013 (see sidebar on the right). There is no actual prize support for this “award” other than your five minutes of fame.
The poll will be closed on February 3rd, 2014 (18:00 CET).
The Deck of the Month for December 2013 is the tournament winning deck “Sujinho” played by Fernanda Nunes (BRA). The deck is Nosferatu antitribu toolbox deck, which you don’t see that often in tournaments, let alone seeing it win one. The deck has some decent ousting power with Deep Song and Conditioning (of course), but it can also rush a bit and has some staying power with some transient intercept, but more importantly four intercept locations. So all in all a decent toolbox deck.
In addition to this deck, I would like to mention two additional decks, both variations of well-known deck archetypes. Waka Waka (This Time For Africa) played by Tommi Hakomaa (originally by Otso) is Nana-type Ani-Combat deck, but instead of focusing on Animalism (and Potence) as most Nana decktypes do, the deck has a wide variety of actions from Founders to the Ebony Kingdom to Public Trust. The second deck is Malkav Blockers varies the Weenie Auspex theme. Despite the hefty reaction card package (44!), the deck has at least some variety, using more “exotic” cards like Hidden Lurker, Erciyes Fragments or Improvised Flamethrower.
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.
The month’s deck for October 2013 is the deck “419 911” played by Bram van Stappen (BEL). The deck was on the short list for the Deck of the Month in September, but only after seeing the deck again during the Belgian Nationals 2013 again, I was convinced of the quality of the deck. During the Belgian Nationals Bram scored an impressive 3 GW in the preliminary rounds (even though they there were 4 player tables only).
The deck tries to deny its first prey any development, by playing 7 Brainwash and by reducing its pool quickly by playing 2-3 419 Operations early on. The deck is quite difficult to play in my opinion, and the real challenge is to keep most of the 419 operations in play once the initial prey has been ousted.
- Black Hand + Thuggees & Anu by Jyri Puhakka (FIN) — a Black Hand Thugee deck which uses the Dem/Aus/Obf disciplines, although on 5 out 12 vampires are actually Malkavian antitribu.
- Sha-Ennu bleed by Nick Miller (AUS) — this is an 11-cap bleed deck which doesn’t use any Inner Circle members the deck uses Sha-Ennu instead. With the help of Will-o-Wisp she can bleed recklessly without fearing to be blocked or bounced.
- White Lily Rush by Matti Palomäki (FIN) — this was for me the most surprising deck to win an tournament at the EC this year. The deck uses not only four different disciplines, but also Anarch and Black Hand cards.
The month’s deck for September 2013 is the tournament winning deck “Tes une fille et tu n’as pas de shampoing” played by Jorge Delgado (ESP). The deck is a First Tradition deck, which chokes the table with 1st Traditions and then uses bleed actions and Parity Shift to oust. It is certainly not the first kind of this deck, but it’s the most aggressive, streamlined version with 60 cards only. Also quite interesting is the use of Tomb of Rameses III, which is used as crypt acceleration instead of Zillahs Valley. Zillahs Valley cannot be used in this deck effectively, since a lot of vampires are below capacity 8. Other versions (tournament winning decks) with 3 or more First Traditions are the decks played by Sergio Gracia, Tiago Brum and John Bell. On one hand these kind of decks are sort of anti-social (like the Reversal of Fortunes decks), because they’re preventing the other players to participate in the game, on the other hand they do speed up the table one way or another.
September 2013 was very busy with VtES tournaments, so there were plenty of candidates for the title Deck of the Month:
- 419 Operation by Bram van Stappen (BEL) — this was very close second as choice for the Deck of Month. Conceptually the combination of 419 Operation, Brainwash and Pentex is intriguing, but the deck will always have difficulties ousting it’s 2nd or even 3rd prey.
- Guadedo Ghouls by Marcin Szybkowski (POL) — not only is the deck very streamlined with 10 D’habi Revenants, but it deviated from the traditional weenie Sabbat Tzimisce concept to a crypt Guadedo as star vampire.
- Il Maestro di Bahari by Gabriele Bugliani (ITA) — this is an interesting twist of the Miller Celerity (Stick) deck by using Protean aggravated damage instead of using Weighted Walking Sticks or Target Vitals.
The list of decks for the months of July and August 2013 was bit short, but nonetheless there was a reasonable number of interesting decks available for the selection as Deck of the Month.
This month’s deck is the tournament winning deck “Mata Hari is the Founder” played by Adam Hulse (USA). Adam put together a Mata Hari Laibon Vote deck. In the beginning it uses Founders of the Ebony Kingdom to get Laibon vampires cheap or even for free into play. With the help of the Laibon clan Kholo and a two vote locations, the deck then transforms itself into a formidable vote deck. The biggest problem of the deck seems to be having enough blood on Mata Hari to pay for all those card she’s playing, but Ankara Citadel is there to address this issue.
Other interesting decks are two rush decks, namely the Matata/Fakir Rush deck (played by Norbert Broda (HUN)) and the Karsh Imperator Rush deck (by Denny Bruset (ITA)), as well as Grinder style Spirit Marionette deck (by Roberto Mautone Junior (BRA)).
The month’s deck for May/June 2013 is the tournament winning deck “Captain, oh my captain!” played by Danilo Torrisi (ITA). The deck got an honorable mention in the last Deck of Month post, but looking again and again at the deck, I liked it more and more. Of course, it’s a one-trick-pony deck, but damn fine looking trick. Ivan Krenyenko is the obvious star in this deck to fetch the Soul Gem. Secondly, Will-o’-the-Wisp does a fantastic job for this deck, both for burning off blood to be able to trigger the effect of Soul Gem later on, and by preventing other player’s minions from blocking (or bouncing bleeds). And I just noticed, that the deck has more different crypt cards than different library cards. Nice!
In the May and June, apart from the usual suspects like Pre/For/Cel Vote and Aus Wall decks there were quite a few interesting decks. I wanted to mention the following:
- Dr. Randall rendel — this is a Renegade Garou deck play by Máté Vaka (HUN), which uses Randall to provide extra protection and uses mainly Protean and Auspex (instead of the usual Animalism).
- Tzimisce Vote — Adam Hulse (USA) played a Tzimisce Vote deck, which uses the G3/4 Tzimisce crypt instead of the usual G2/3 crypt. I also quite like the addition of Mind of Wild, which makes some opponents think about actually blocking an action initiated by the Tzimisce. It might not be all super efficient, but it’s a nice change of pace compared to the well-known vote decks.
- Magic of the Chimestry — this is rare combat deck played by Gonzalo Verafajardo (ESP) which uses both Thaumaturgy and Chimerstry. It has way too many combat cards (I think), but it looks really interesting to play.
- Team Jacob — Mikkel Peterson’s Tunnelrunner deck with which he won the NAC 2013. That’s just the kind of deck of which you think “That can’t win a major tournament!“. ;)
This month’s deck is the tournament winning deck “Potence Princes v2013” played by Gergo Gyarmati (HUN). It’s a Nosferatu vote as you may have seen before, but instead of packing Obfuscate and Animalism (as usual), this variant is a mono Potence deck (and of course using cards requiring the Prince/Justicar title.
I was a little bit slow at the end of March/start of April, otherwise I would have chosen a deck for March and April each. The other interesting decks from my point of view were:
- the Turbo deck based on Ivan Krenyenko (played by Danilo Torrisi (ITA)) special ability to fetch an equipment (the Soul Gem of Etrius).
- the Wall deck Elimlech goes to War (played by Péter Korsós (HUN)) with it’s namesake Elimlech as star vampire. The most interesting card in the deck is Fueled by Heart’s Blood which allows Elimlech to diablerize younger vampires unpunished.
- the most discussed deck on vekn.net perhaps was Spider, the best, which is a Ravnos deck (played by Germán Uriarte (ESP)) that uses a lot of different cards, from Baltimore Purge to Fantasy World to shut down the table. This was a very close second to becoming the Deck of the Month.
- and at last, the Ventrue Royalty Alastor Rush (played by Stone (FRA)), which uses not only Alastor/Assault Rifle to bring other vampires down, put also the good old Disarm/Prevent trick to good use.
There were a lot of decks based on Animalism around in the past two months, but not so much the Nana variants, more often based on other crypts/clans like the Tzismice or the Tremere/Tremere antitribu (I am looking at you, Goratrix!). But there’s no general trend to be seen, still some Ashur decks around, but also your usual mix of bleed, vote and combat(ish) decks.
The Deck of the Month for Jan/Feb 2013 is the tournament winning deck “Mano negra illegal 2012” played by Gergo Gyarmati (HUN). The deck is basically an Auspex wall(ish) deck, it has a strong Black Hand angle. I like especially the reasonably sized combat package consisting of Psychic Assault and Target Vitals, which can give decks relying on damage prevention a bit of trouble. Plus the crypt has a rather unusual composition, with Sennadurek as its star.
While the January was a bit of a slow month, the February was very decent in terms of deck quality, although nothing really excelled, and the race of the DotM was very close. Interesting decks included:
- Nadima Wall by Pedro Coelho (BRZ) — although the name is strictly speaking correct, I wouldn’t call deck with 14 actions cards (ony one or two of which can be considered as wallish) a wall deck. This is a solid toolbox deck based on Protean & Serpentis.
- The decks that that got a price for wackiness (but maybe less so for efficiency):
- Revolutionist Uprising by Matt Wedge — this ia I am still waiting for the breakout deck of The Rising (although Csaba’s Rising Dementia deck is close).
- Assamite Black Hand Bleed by Kamel Senni/Romain Naim (FRA) — very nice deck, but too close to Izaak’s Pancake Mix deck.
- Nehemia MiNitzeto Politico by Enrique Lopez & Lander Ladislao (ESP) — a Temporis based political deck featuring Nemiah.
- the unaligned revolutionaries by Matti Palomäki (FIN) — an interesting tap&bleed deck using Art’s Traumatic Essence to tap vampires.
One general note: Is it only me, who is seeing more and more Tremere or Tremere antitribu decks these days? My thinking is that they’re the new Ventrue antitribu Grinder deck, equally capable of withstanding pressure and fighting back, but effective against both Animalism and the Ventrue or Ventrue antitribu stick men decks, that have been popular the past few years.
Here are the results from the poll if the readers would like prefer a monthly or bi-monthly “Deck of the Month” selection. 101 readers of this blog participated in the poll, and these are the results
- Yes, bi-monthly is ok/better. — 52.48% (53 votes)
- No, keep the monthly frequency. — 37.62% (38 votes)
- I don’t care. — 8.91% (9 votes)
- Skip the feature altogether! — 0.99% (1 votes)
Although the majority thinks a bi-monthly “Deck of the Month” article is acceptable (52%), there’s a sizable majority for keeping the current schedule. Because of this result I have decided that I will choose a compromise. I will choose a “Deck of the Month” at least every other month. Meaning there will be at least six DotM in 2013, but most likely some more.
I find it increasingly hard to find appropriate candidates for the “Deck of the Month” feature That is, there are just fewer interesting decks to discover and build, since the influx of new cards stopped with the last expansion (“Heirs to the Blood” was released now three(!) years ago). Therefore I would propose to reduce the frequency for the Deck of the Month to every two months. I have put poll on the sidebar. Any additional thoughts and comments?
After having presented ten decks of the month in the past year, I have asked you to pick the Deck of the Year 2012. 76 votes have been cast in this poll.
So the winner for the Deck of Year 2012 is Genis Prats (ESP) with his “Alamut’s Horror Museum” deck. Congratulations to Genis for building and winning with this deck. Unfortunately for the winner, there is no actual prize support for this “award” other than your five minutes of fame.
- January 2012: Alamut’s Horror Museum by Genis Prats (ESP) — 28.36% (19 votes)
- July 2012: Bankia by Txus Alutiz (ESP) — 20.9% (14 votes)
- September 2012: Undeles Bag of Dicks by Aleksi Nuora (FIN) — 16.42% (11 votes)
- February 2012: Unnamed shatter by Ferenc Vasadi (HUN) — 11.94% (8 votes)
- November 2012: The Complex Machinations of the Mind of Fred Scott by Brian Moritz — 7.46% (5 votes)
- June 2012: El traumatologo del dolor by Luis Fonseca (ESP) — 5.97% (4 votes)
- December 2012: Extremely Silent and Incredibly Far Away by Dennis Lien (USA) — 2.99% (2 votes)
- May 2012: African Library by James Messer (USA) — 2.99% (2 votes)
- October 2012: Chorripan Festival by Javier Rodríguez Fernández (ESP) — 1.49% (1 votes)
- August 2012: “James “The Knife” Angry Dragon by Brad Cashdollar (USA) — 1.49% (1 votes)