Today we will bring you the winning decks from the Conclave tournament in Palma de Mallorca 2018.
It was a very interesting and hard-fought finale, with very different decks and quite a few votes on the table.
First of all, it was Moisés, winner of the tournament (with 2VP and entering first to the final), with a Palla grande deck with some Auspex to deflect.
Secondly it was Jorge (2VP), with a Tzimische deck, based on Sha-Ennu and Xipe Totec, tending to be a tool box with some politics.
Then we have German (1VP) with a Lutz & Maris Streck political deck con Obedience and Mental Maze, you can see a more accurate analysis by the creator here.
And finally Alberto with a Tzimische wall deck and Pablo with a Theo bell & The Beast.
Without more delay here are the lists.
Moisés – Palla Grande
Deck Name : Toreador Antitribu Palla Grande
Author : Moisés Ferrer
Crypt [12 vampires] Capacity min: 3 max: 7 average: 5.58333
3x Jost Werner 6 AUS PRE ani !Toreador:2
2x Greta Kircher 7 AUS CEL PRE obf !Toreador:2
2x Sheila Mezarin 6 AUS PRE cel for !Toreador:2
1x Jessica 7 AUS CEL OBT PRE bishop !Toreador:2
1x Creamy Jade 5 PRE aus cel vic !Toreador:3
1x Remilliard, Devout 4 AUS pre !Toreador:2
1x Sabrina 4 aus cel pre !Toreador:3
1x Lolita 3 for pre !Toreador:2
Library [75 cards]
8x Art Scam
6x Embrace, The
12x Enchant Kindred
Action Modifier 
2x Aire of Elation
4x Change of Target
2x Anarch Troublemaker
1x Coven, The
1x Dark Influences
2x Dreams of the Sphinx
1x Jake Washington (Hunter)
4x Palla Grande
1x Pentex(TM) Subversion
1x Delaying Tactics
4x Eyes of Argus
2x My Enemy’s Enemy
4x On the Qui Vive
6x Telepathic Misdirection
Jorge – Tzimische
Deck Name: Tool Xipe
Crypt (12 cards; Capacity min=7 max=11 avg=9.42)
1x Ludmijla Rakoczy 7 ANI AUS VIC Tzimisce:5
2x Righteous Endeavor 8 ANI AUS THA VIC Tzimisce:5
4x Sha-Ennu 11 obf tha ANI AUS CHI VIC Tzimisce:4
1x Terrifisto 10 cel obt ANI AUS FOR VIC Tzimisce:4
4x Xipe Totec 9 ANI AUS PRO VIC Tzimisce:5
Library (90 cards)
2x Dreams of the Sphinx
1x Hungry Coyote, The
2x Information Highway
1x Legendary Vampire
1x Monastery of Shadows
1x Pentex(TM) Subversion
1x Powerbase: Madrid
2x Tomb of Rameses III
2x Wider View
2x Zillah’s Valley
1x Scourge of the Enochians
1x Pulse of the Canaille
1x Shepherd’s Innocence
2x Under Siege
Political Action (12)
1x Ancient Influence
1x Ancilla Empowerment
6x Kine Resources Contested
1x Political Stranglehold
1x Reins of Power
1x Bowl of Convergence
1x Heart of Nizchetus
1x Living Manse
Action Modifier (13)
5x Mind of the Wilds
3x Private Audience
6x Eyes of Argus
3x On the Qui Vive
9x Telepathic Misdirection
2x Breath of the Dragon
4x Carrion Crows
5x Chiropteran Marauder
4x Plasmic Form
Germán – Lutz
Deck Name: Malkavian político 73
Created By: Posco
Crypt: (12 cards, Min: 32, Max: 44, Avg: 9,75)
5 Lutz Von Hohenzollern pot AUS DEM OBF PRE11 Malkavian
2 Maris Streck ani AUS dem dom OBF9 Malkavian
2 Quentin King III AUS DEM obf pre7 Malkavian
2 Rachel Brandywine ani AUS DEM OBF PRO10 Malkavian
1 Tryphosa AUS DEM DOM OBF POT10 Malkavian
Library: (73 cards)
Master (14 cards)
1 Dreams of the Sphinx
1 Giant`s Blood
1 Monastery of Shadows
1 Pentex(TM) Subversion
1 Secure Haven
5 Zillah`s Valley
1 Dark Influences
Action (3 cards)
3 Kindred Spirits
Action Modifier (14 cards)
1 Cloak the Gathering
2 Elder Impersonation
1 Enkil Cog
3 Faceless Night
2 Forgotten Labyrinth
2 Lost in Crowds
3 Spying Mission
Political Action (13 cards)
1 Anarchist Uprising
5 Kine Resources Contested
4 Parity Shift
1 Reins of Power
Reaction (21 cards)
2 Enhanced Senses
5 Eyes of Argus
6 Mental Maze
1 My Enemy`s Enemy
3 Second Tradition: Domain, The
4 Telepathic Misdirection
Combat (2 cards)
2 No Trace
Equipment (1 cards)
1 Heart of Nizchetus
Combo (5 cards)
2 Random Patterns
3 Swallowed by the Night
Alberto – Tzimische Bloquer
-The Rose x1
-Kazimi Savostin x2
-Corin Marcón x2
-The path of Metamorphosis x1
-Guardian Angel x1
-Library Hunting ground x1
-Pentex Subversion x1
-Spontaneous Power x1
-Direct Intervention x1
-Dark Influences x1
-Smiling Jack the Anarch x3
-The erciyes Fragments x1
-Pawerbase: Montreal x1
-Army Of Rats x1
-Blood of Acid x2
-Chiropteran Marauder x10
-Breath of the Dragon X4
-Kraken’s Kiss x6
-War ghoul x2
-Corpse Balloon x5
-Underbridge Stray x3
-Bowl of Convergence x1
-Kevlar Vest x1
-Flak Jacket x1
-Enhanced Senses x4
-Telepathic Misdirection x2
-My enemy’s Enemy x2
-Eagle’s Sight x6
-Eye of Argus x4
-Read the Winds x4
-Forced Awakening x5
-On the Qui Vive x4
Pablo – Theo Bell& The Beast
1 x Dre, Leader of the Cold Dawn
1 x Jacob Bragg
1 x Victor Tolliver
2 x Jimmy Dunn
1 x Volker, The Puppet Prince
1 x Brachah
1 x Anvil
2 x Theo Bell
2 x Beast, The Leatherface of Detroit
2 x Fame
4 x Blood Doll
2 x Haven Uncovered
1 x Tension in the Ranks
1 x Celerity
1 x Warzone Hunting Ground
1 x Pentex Subversion
2 x Archon Investigation
2 x Wake with Evening’s Freshness
2 x Delaying Tactics
7 x Bum’s Rush
5 x Flash
6 x Pursuit
5 x Blur
6 x Sideslip
10 x Immortal Grapple
1 x Fists of Death
7 x Torn Signpost
5 x Pushing the Limit
6 x Undead Strength
5 x Disarm
2 x Decapitate
2 x Thrown Sewer Lid
5 x Taste of Vitae
We also have an analysis of that deck by the author.
It’s a very aggressive deck based on celerity and Potence. It needs to take Theo Bell or The Beast out in its place to work well.
Visit as soon as you can to control population on prey and predator, play as many combat cards as you can to cycle the hand and always have what it’s best for every situation. If you can visit before they play the Villein or Minion Tap on the vampire even better, doing it we will prevent them from recovering pool and we will be able to win more blood.
We don’t have to leave any dangerous predating vampires alive.
The deck kills with tension in the ranks and Fame.
The benefits of the deck is that is very destructive against decks with Combat Ends, it works well against decks that don’t do much Bloat (winning blood) and against blockers.
Its weakness are that it doesn’t have much defence against politics or bleeders. It’s quite vulnerable in table with lots of deflections because it tends to be the sink hole. It has some difficulties against decks with fortitude and that prevent strikes and doesn’t make friends easily at the table, but you can always sell some visit.
Thanks a lot to José Maria, Prince of Palma, for provide us with the lists.
Organization 101 or how to be a good host and not die trying
Come in! Come in!
Come in to my humble Elyseum and enjoy the party! Everyone is welcome!
Today I will talk about tournament organization, which may seem an easy and trivial task, but that’s why we must distinguish between a tournament and a GOOD tournament.
Tournament are the meeting point of players, they meet other players outside their playgroup, and even for some players it’s their only way to play V:tESm that is why a good organization is key.
First of all you have to choose a date and a place.
More than a few times, someone has placed it’s tournament long ago, just to suddenly find that someone is planning a tournament on the same date. That is totally counterproductive for both tournaments, cause it will split the players, it will create friction between the community and may end up in vendetta, specially for the first organizer, and no one knows what can be lurking around on a cold night when you turn the next corner…
It will help quite a bit to organize with the other princes from neighbourhood cities and distribute the calendar.
Having a good place is also very important. It’s not the same to meet with your playgroup at a bar or someone house’s than to organize there a tournament.
That doesn’t mean that a bar is not a good place, if it’s big enough, has enough tables, you arrange a menu at a reasonable price, and you have a quite space apart without interfering with the regular clients it can be a good option. If someone has a cottage sure it will lure many gangrels to the party!
A shop or a club are the common options, because they already have a suitable space for the activity.
Other good choices are municipal facilities that town halls usually cede to local associations.
What it’s true is that with 4 tables and a few bunch of chairs you can have a tournament, but players will thank you for a good space, quite where they can play without anyone looking at them strangely for playing with children games, etc…
Second point which is vital, are the players. Obiously without them there will be no tournament, and therefore making a good propaganda is very important.
There are several ways, accessible to everyone, we can use. First of all is the calendar at the VEKN website (http://www.vekn.net/event-calendar). That is also mandatory in order to make the tournament official. And while we are at the VEKN website wecan make an announcement at our regional section.
If there is a website or forum dedicated to your community, for example a Spanish Forum, make also a post there.
Depending on how the community flows you can do an event on Facebook, but you will need to have quite a few contacts.
If you have Whatsapp or Telegram groups, eitherway the general for the country or the local groups is very usefull.
If there are local shops that suport the game you can ask them to hang a poster.
And with this you may think we are don’t, note ven close!
First you have to be sure that we have given enough information for the people to come to our tournament. Many times the address is forgotten, or the schedule are not clear or any other relevant information. You should always inform of:
- Place (exact address and a Google Maps link if you can)
- Incription price
That is the minimal information, you can add more things, we will talk about it forwarr in THE COMPLEMENTS.
In second place, keeping track of the participants, or at least the probable players will help us encourage others and will mark the path of the tournament. How many times have you arrived to a tournament and you were less than 12 so it turn to be a multideck tournament and you weren’t prepared?
Or even worse, only 11 players show up (the cursed number) so someone has to drop or make weird combos with the archon(1)?
Once we are done with the preparations at long term, we can start the short term for the specific day.
Having access to a computer will help.
In case of larger tournaments, more than 25 people, a printer is very helpful, cause we will be able to print the rounds so everyone can check it easily. Also a microphone, or a small megaphone (10€), Will be very useful to communicate the rounds to everyone and not having to shout very loud.
If we have kept track of the players, we can have their data (name, vekn number, etc..) already on the archon, so the registration process will be much faster, and from here we jump to the next point, the schedule.
The Schedule is also very important, not just to know at what time you have to be at the tournament, but to estimate at what time it will end and plan the trip back home, furthermore if you come from far away.
It’s important to plan the resgirtration time, and that it doesn’t overlap with the first round. Specially in big tournaments. I will explain myself, for example:
In the EC 2017 in Berlin, the registrations where scheduled until 10:00, and the first round started also at 10:00. obiously at 9:55 there was a long line of people waiting to register and give the deck list, so the tournament start with a 1 hour delay.
The ideal would be:
9:00 – 9:30: Registration
10:00: Round 1
And leave some time for stragglers and unforeseen things. For smaller events with 10 o 15 minutes it will be enough.
It’s also important to be punctual, for the organization and for respect towards the players that have been punctual, the tournament should not be delayed because some players are late for it.
Of course there are always exceptions, maybe a prick of a wheel, but if someone is late and the rest waits for the player, he7she will be late every tournament knowing that he will be able to play and without any penalty.
With the things we have expose, we have a solid base for our tournament, everything that comes from now on are additional things, but that make the tournament even better, what we call the complements.
At organizacional level, small details like having the tables prepared the day before, arriving to the place a bit early than the players, having change for the inscription even if it’s a rounded price (5 or 10€) there will always be people who pay with 20€ or bigger. All of these details help that everything flows better.
External organizational level if we search a good lunch option, or a couple of restaurants nearby, players from outside will thank it.
The same could be said about accommodations in case of big tournaments like Nationals, Grand Prix or EC were many people come from outside, pointing them some good hotels or hostels will be very helpful for them.
Also giving some indications on how to get to the place, or the city from airports or train stations it helps to easy the travel, specially for foreinger people who don’t speak the language.
For local tournaments, indicating viable free parking areas is usefull and will avoid people from losing time searching for a place to park the car.
Having good prizes encourage people to attend, even more if there are prizes that will be sorted among the attendees.
A good way to have them is with patronages, and not everything has to be directly related to V:tES, there are many shops that will give you some products in exchange of having their logo on the poster and get some publicity on social media. T-shirts, some comic, or other things are good complementary prizes.
There are also prizes that are discounts for local shops, like restaurants, or nothing relates at all like little snack bags or beberages.
In the Spanish National Championship 2016 in Reus, the organizers manage to get chocolate smoothie and small snacks of nuts, that they give during the tournament as a mid day snack.
And up to here the class of the day on the basis on how to run a tournament. Anything you will like to add, or any suggestion on how to improve the tournaments is welcome, just leaves us a comment with your idea.
(1)Excel used to organize tournaments. Introducing the players gives us the rounds and the sitting position and the final round.
by Miquel Jorge ‘Gatocion’
What can be said about Richard Garfield that hasn’t been said before? There’s not much we don’t know about him, creator of games like Magic: The gathering, Netrunner and of course Jyhad (aka V:tES), but in 1995 when I discover jihad it was a total stranger to me. And so the games start to pop up around, the CCG (Collectible Card Games).
I remember that what they were, and discover them through the rpg Vampire:The Masquerade. You may wonder how the curiosity about this world of darkness came up? At that time, around 1995, they premiered the movie Interview with the vampire and the world of Anna Rice, and other worlds like the Necromantic Chronicles from Briam Lumley, and so many more titles where the main focus was the vampirism ( Night Hunters, Music of the vampires, the dream of Fevre, The year of Dracula, the stake, Dracula, etc…) so the next logical step was to get to that world I began to discover on those manuals, and the more I read the more interesting and captivating it was, and at least for me unrepeatable.
It was at my local shop, where I used to buy manuals that they talked me about the card games based on world of darknes.. and so the first boosters and decks felt into my hands… and the surprise on my face cause I couldn’t understand how to combine them, my firsts games, the apprenticeship, the decks impossible to imagine nowadays (just to mention, my first deck was a gangrel-malkavian, with Basilia and the two allies more interesting of both clans, Muddle Vampire Hunter and Renegade Garou).
An so, step by step, I began to discover the game, but more than the rules I got the chance to meet new people and share a common passion.
It’s hard to describe now, the feelings I got when I was discovering new cards, those drawings, that now may seem vintage but that at that moment fit perfectly with the world I have been discovering. And when new collection list came out, wondering what the new cards would do and how would they be. For example it took me quite a long to have a Praxus Seizure, nowadays everyone has some now. At those days it was hard to get information on the cards.
And when you visit the local shop you were the odd one, while everyone was playing Magic.
And the first year at collage went by, when I found what nowadays it Hill be VTES, and the change was not only on the name, it also CAME with new cards, others that did not re-editated and with a new design, but the best was yet to come, and it was the first 2 expansions, Dark Sovereigns and Ancient Hearts, new clans, new disciplines, new vampires for the camarilla clans. I remember wandering around the shops searching for boosters to buy. Buying boxes will come later.
VTES was still my favourite game, the one I share with friends and the one that I teach to others.
And in 1996 it came out a big expansion that leaves all of us with hunger for more, because it showed things that we haven’t seen before… SABBAT.
That feeling hasn’t come back, of having a box of boosters in my hands. The design of the booster, black and red, and the content that had more cards in it that any other game. As said, unrepeatable.
But not everything could be perfect, the three following expansions had the same problem, the difficulty of creating competitive decks from the new clans: Giovanni, Ravnos, Assamite, Followers of Seth, Lasombra, tzimische, Malkavian antitribe… And the majority of antitribe played only as a suport, almost non was the principal vampire, I recall that Jacko or Richter becoming part of the brujah decks…but at that moment you could only think at the thrill of discovering new things and the new expansions that will complete the clans that had just came out… but then silence came.
V:TES disappeared from the shops, if you were lucky you could find some basic edition or some booster, but I was looking for SABBAT, and it became impossible.
At that point of the story, I was also a collector, so I had the urge to collect apart from improving the decks we made. Time passed by, and my love for V:TES was a constant al along, I find new playgroups and stores, even exchange some card at a rake in Madrid.
And in 1999, two big changes came to my live, I got ADSL at home and a computer that let me install and work, hours and hours on a program that enjoy me… Photoshop, and don’t forget the scanner, that I bought with just one purpose, to scan the original cards and create my own.
We didn’t know if new expansions will come, I start checking manuals searching for new abilities and disciplines and I create my own cards, print them and glue them on top of regular cards. I still keep them, and nostalgia brings back good memories of all the time I spend creating those cards… A total of 87 new cards, everyone with it’s illustration from other games like kult or heresy, cause when I played those games I always imagine it in the WoD universe.
And the things keep going, until 2000, when I consider that the golden age of V:TES started (2000-2010) and the time I was totally involve (2000-2005), not only as player also as Prince, tournament organizer, judge, an active member of the community. I had the luck to meet great players, I played 3 European Championship,3 Conclave, and visiting cities like Salamanca, Valladolid, Bilbao, Barcelona, Palma, Vienna, Paris, Lisbon… and organizing the Iberian Championship 2003.
Not much can be said about all the expansions that came out during that time, only that it turned the game to what it’s today, gave them depth, there is not any part of WoD that it hasn’t been reflected, blood lines, Black Hand, the Red list, African vampires, imbued…. Also the novels came out, and we could control the vamps which we read about.
My live change during that days, you get independent, build up a family… and you don’t have so much time to spend on V:TES, and slowly your friends turn the same way, it gets harder to meet to play, until when you realise that your last game was 1 or 2 years ago.
All that I was as a player and collector….I couldn’t play, but I expected new cards and imagine deck with it, and the cards I will need for everything when I got time to get back to the game.
In 2010 two big things happened, my daughter was born and Heirs to the Blood CAME out, and what it seems to be the end…
It was very hard to get the boosters and starters to build the decks, the rumour that the license was ending spread like wild fire, and that CCP will not make any more reprints, there was only left what was in the market and nothing else.
At that point I really went to torpor and all my collection stood in the shelves at home, the only thing left was to watch them from time to time and remember the good moments I had.
But 7 years after, the EC at Berlin popped up, and a reprint was announced! My life had made another twist, I was divorce, and despite being odd, you have free time again, and I didn’t doubt it for a moment, I had to go!
I showed the game to my regular play group in Vigo, where I live since 2008, and even one of them had a Jyhad starter, I could only smile seeing the mix of cards that it had…and the good feelings came back and started to search for the cards I needed…
And then May came up, and I had the luck to met great people, to meeting old friends again, and recovering the feelings from playing the game, quite rusty I have to admit. My decks were full of groups 1,2 and 3 vampires and I kept seeing vampires from 4,5 and 6… cards I had forgot what they do or that I never had the chance to discover, finding a meta-game what I know nothing about, and talking about decks lost in the depths of a web and that are no longer played, summarizing…WONDERFULL.
And now in 2018 we find with the notice that a group of players have had the courage to start a company, that White Wolf take s a brave decision and that V:TES is back on print, and that new cards will come; I see that every day more players came back from torpor and that new tournaments appear. For the second time the game came back to live, and this time from the hand of the players that for so long have kept it alive. My most heart full thanks to them for not letting that this great game went to waste.
I hope that the journey I had explain wasn’t to long for you, from the beginning, from 1995 until today, my life has gone hand to hand with this game, and how 23 years after, with all the twists and plot changes, I still find thrilled, with hunger for collecting moments, memories like the ones that make me so happy in first place.
We have the pleasure of speaking with Javier Belmonte, a ‘newbie’ player from Valencia, who showed us that you can win a national without having 20 years of vtes experience. Javi arrived to the national after driveing more than 800 kilometers and having slept less than 4 hours.
- Javi, how long have you been playing Vtes and how did you discover the game?
Four years ago an old Methuselah in torpor took his modest collection and show to me and my friends what vtes actually is. We were ,and still are, admirers of Richard Garfield, we specially love the theme and the illustrations. Since we discovered the game, we are more addicted to blood every day. Thank you Ponset, eternally grateful.
- How have you managed to win the Spanish national 2018?
How I managed to win is an unknown to me, I knew the potential of my deck and I also knew what I could do with it, so I kept waiting expectant, studying the rest of the table and holding the my predator pressure until I found my moment. Being able to choose where I was going to sit on the table helped me a lot and I think I chosed correctly. It has been my third Vtes tournament. In the Grand Prix I left the tables too fast and for this national it was clear to me that I wanted to remain more on the table and Anneke was a good option for this purpose.
- Tell us about your usual playgroup.
In Valencia we have a group of players / friends, something around 7 players. Any reason is good for playing a few cards on a Wednesday and most of the weekends. There is always someone with some new idea wanting to try and since we also play other card games, we have some good experience and deckbuilding and some tactic vision when it is time to play.
A playgroup friend also reached the final this weekend (Manu) and another one was tied in points and did not enter by the algorithm (Jose). Luis reached the final of the national of Alicante 2017 and i am sure that (Caja), the one remaining is going to gather some good results sooner than later since he is a great player.
- Which one is your best deck?
The one who carried me to the final round is the only one which can be competitive in tournaments for now: Anneke’s deck. My other decks I have are mostly for casual gaming. Although I am also thinking about some evil ideas for the near future.
- Which is your favorite clan? Why? Which is your prefered play style?
My favorite clan is Lasombra because I think they are quite versatile to create any type of deck, I love the obtenebration despite the fact you can run out of blood really fast. I also love the arts in obtenebration cards. I think I am a toolbox player for now but i think that speciallize in a single style can be very effective in a crucial situation. I am sure that i don’t like the Stealth&Bleed decks.
- Can you show us your TWD? Tell us how it works.
Anneke is never asleep
2 Tatiana Romanov
1 Felicia Nostrom
1 Dorian Strack
2 Art Museum
1 Direct Intervention
2 Haven unconvered
1 PB Montreal
1 Rack, The
2 Smiling Jack
1 WMRH talk radio
8 Concealed weapon
3 aura reading
6 taste of vitae
2 charismatic aura
10 second tradition
6 eyes of Argus
5 telepathic misdirection
2 quicken sight
1 sniper riffle
1 ivory bow
1 bowl of convergence
Political Action (2)
2 parity shift
1 Tasha Morgan
Most of the crypt vampires have +1 bleed and the option to play a Second Tradition, which is a strong cards in terms of efficiency. Parity Shift can also be played in some cases. Anneke’s special is pretty strong specially for negotiate and get deals. The main weakness of this deck is play against hard combat decks or steal/destroy weapon. I can usually get Pentexed but i will get help on that most of the times if i offer Anneke’s help. The deck can survive without Anneke but it is a clear handicap.
- Are you enjoying the tournament this year?
I’m sure you all know a guy who is constantly trying to create decks with totally unual cards, Usually, the following comment follows like: “If nobody plays this cards is because it won’t work”.
If you don’t know anybody like this, here I am for you. Some of my best friends recommend me to buy a funnel, that’s what i need to join all my mad (bad) ideas into a single deck.
Si sois de los pocos que aún no conocéis a nadie así, me presento ante vosotros. Mis mejores amigos dentro del juego me recomiendan que me compre un embudo; bien para que acompañe a la locura que me fluye cuando creo mazos con cartas infumables; bien para que haga de filtro porque, tal vez (y sólo tal vez) de cada cien ideas estúpidas una pueda tener algún sentido.
So I have encouraged myself to write this section with the sole intention of:
- Just for laughts among the readers.
- Give support to those who, like me, have absurd ideas, share them or not.
- Maybe someone will find the hidden factor in my equations and end up developing a really competitive deck.
First, I think you’ll have to try to discover how my head works when developing these aberrations. Everything starts by reviewing cards in my collection or in some software to manage decks. Suddenly, I find a rare card and I think: “Holy shit, this is awesome!”. In that point starts the “aberration deck”. That was what happened when I discovered the Redline:
Only usable when a blood hunt referendum passes and would burn a vampire controlled by another Methuselah. That vampire is not burned. Put this card on that vampire and take control of him or her. This vampire is independent. This vampire gets one optional press when in combat with a Camarilla vampire and can enter combat with any Camarilla vampire as a +1 stealth (D) action. Burn this card if the vampire changes sects.
Hmm… strong card if you can use it in a controled way…
The problem was simple: How to trigger a blood hunt out of my turn in and secure that the vampire in question was going to go? So I started thinking about it, as a good defender of the Gangrel, the most logical option was to play the only “blood hunt” card that exists in the game: Veles’ Hunt. With Stanislava + Enkil Cog… could work, although the Veles’ Hunt has too many restrictions. So I went for the most complicated. I presented to you one of the very absurd decks that i’ve created. This is from January 2014, when the Anthelios was not banned:
Crypt [12 vampires] Capacity min: 10 max: 11
5x Huitzilopochtli 10 AUS DAI DOM OBF POT PRE Baali:2
3x Arika 11 DOM FOR OBF PRE aus cel inner circle Ventrue:2
2x Etrius 11 AUS DOM OBF THA pro inner circle Tremere:2
2x Leandro 11 AUS OBF PRE cel dom inner circle Malkavian:2
Library [89 cards]
4x Baltimore Purge
3x Mind Rape
1x Unleash Hell’s Fury
Action Modifier 
1x Cloak the Gathering
1x Elder Impersonation
1x Enkil Cog
1x Faceless Night
2x Forgotten Labyrinth
4x Freak Drive
1x Lost in Crowds
1x Voter Captivation
1x Carlton Van Wyk (Hunter)
1x Bowl of Convergence
1x Heart of Nizchetus
1x Anthelios, The Red Star
6x Ashur Tablets
1x Creepshow Casino
1x Direct Intervention
2x Dreams of the Sphinx
1x Giant’s Blood
1x Golconda: Inner Peace
1x Heidelberg Castle, Germany
1x Information Highway
1x Monastery of Shadows
1x Parthenon, The
1x Pentex(TM) Subversion
2x Wider View
4x Zillah’s Valley
Political Action 
1x Ancient Influence
1x Ancilla Empowerment
1x Kine Resources Contested
1x Reckless Agitation
2x Eagle’s Sight
4x Eyes of Argus
2x On the Qui Vive
5x Undying Thirst
If you want to build this deck, i recommend you not to expect any good result. Maybe some laughts.
Luis ‘Txiqui’ Fonseca, Prince of Mataró
Hi, my name is Kiderak and I spend tons of hours thinking about new decks.
Some time ago, i felt so pissed off about playing “star” vampires. For sure they are strong options who can carry you on a game… but, most of the times, you will be the main target for all acridity cards on the table (Pentex, Sensory, Haven Uncovered and for sure another Pentex). Probably you know what i mean if you usually play Arika, Lutz, Stanislava, Unnamed, Enkidu, Lucian the Perfect one, Miss Fanchon, Mr. Hoherzollern, Alonso Petrodon, Goratrix, or another “good” guy.
This is why i want to talk about some other vampires who are ‘maybe’ not popular as the Stars are:
Strohman: 9-cap, dom ANI OBF POT THA. Archbishop. +1 bleed. Auspex Reactions cost one more blood while he is acting.
I love this guy… tons of possibilities… Rush with ANI POT? (taunt, deepsong, preternatural, drawing, immortal). Blocker Sabbat-ANI? (ravens, sense, undersiege, abbot, eternal vigilance). Obvious stealth bleed… access to Thaumaturgy evil cards (who said Rutors?).
Carolina Valez: 9-cap, aus DOM OBT POT PRE. Archbishop. Immune to damage from allies and retainers (usefull these late nights).
Politics and/or bleed (show of force, iron glare, condikilling), stealth, combat… i definitively like her.
Gabrielle di Righetti: 10-cap, obf pot ANI AUS DOM THA. Justicar. Can Steal 2 blood from a minion as a +1s action.
Okay, maybe she is not an unknown crypt card, but this is my intent to declare she is totally awesome for more than the obvious two reasons. Extremely blocker (sense, argus, second tradition and you don’t need anymore, maybe some magic of the smith on the blocker stuff bowl of sniper-banshee-heart of kevlar vest cheating). One of the best built-in actions on the game.
Ladislas Toth, the Torch: 7-cap, for AUS DOM THA. Archbishop.
Archbishop of who cares! Seven cap with all that stuff. In my opinion he fits with Polly-Kay, Mr. Foster and why not… Saulot.
Klaus Konrecht: 8-cap, for pot AUS CEL PRE. Cardinal.
Again, pretty strong disciplines with a strong title for “only” eight cap. Acces to Auspex with for-disarm, Auspex with CEL guns, Presence bleed/votes. Tons of fun all around.
Sarrasine (adv): 8-cap, aus nec OBF PRE SER. Prince. If advanced, put 1 corruption on prey minion per turn.
Pre-obf prince, pre-ser new cards (gazes and kisses). Totally awesome text if you manage to merge him. What if u play him with a merged kemintiri or Amisa.
Velya, The Flayer: 9-cap, for ANI AUS PRE VIC. Cardinal. Once each combat she can discard one Auspex card to get a press.
Again, multiple good disciplines, awesome title and a nice text. Carrion crows + Telepatic tracking? You can discard it for press without pay cost. You can also discard all that stuck auspex in your hand. And i’ve still not mentioned the VIC…
Dr. John Dee: 9-cap, chi ANI AUS DOM THA. Prince. Ventrue cannot s:ce and during any referendum he can discard a Tha card to get +2 votes.
Same as Righetti, brute blocker options and a nice text. What if i tell you he groups with her? 😀
Marino Reymundo Vasquez: 9-cap, ani AUS DOM NEC THA. Archbishop. +1 bleed.
Just good. Multiple ways…
Rebekah: 9-cap, AUS CEL DOM OBF QUI. Prince. She can discard one aus card to get 2 votes.
5 good disciplines at superior, prince and move-hand text. Good girl =)
There are few more I-am-not-a-star-but-I-can-kick-your-ass crypt options. Send us your favourite ones at email@example.com
Arnau Diez Sans
Join me into my crypt and enjoy the company and a nice chat.
Today we will talk about a basic concept, but that sometimes is hard to have it clear as water, and that gives troubles for both new embraces as older generations.
Today we will talk about turn phases!
The turns go around among players clockwise, and every turn has the following phases:
- Unlock phase
- Master phase
- Minion phase
- Influence Phase
- Discard phase
Various effects can happen at the same phase, we can separate them between mandatory (as to hunt) and non-mandatory. The mandatory actions, as its name indicates, go first, and then the non-mandatory, but in every sub-phase, the active player (the one who is playing the turn), decides in which order they take place, as for example:
If several vampires must hunt, the player who controls them decides which one hunts first.
This choice may seem random, but many times it’s not.
I will then explain you, in detail, every phase.
It’s the first phase, and first of all you must unlock all the cards that can do so, then the rest of the effects take place, as to gain 1 pool if you control the edge, to pay (or not) contested cards, and pay mandatory effects as Smiling Jack or Constant Revolution.
This phase represents yours activity as Methuselah in the game. By default you only have one master action, but some cards may give you more, or if you play a trifle card then you get another master action. You can play 2 trifle cards, but the second one will not give you an extra master action.
If you have played an out-of-turn master, then you have spend your master action of that turn, except if the out-of-turn cards was a trifle one, in which case you will get 1 master phase.
In this phase minions take actions. Every unlocked minion can perform actions by locking themselves, and other players can try to block that actions.
As we have commented before, first of all mandatory actions take place, as to hunt. If a minion should do two or more mandatory actions it will get “blocked” and will not perform any action that will not forbid your other minions to act.
When an action targets one or more Methuselah, or cards that they control, that action is considered a direct action, and only can be blocked by those Methuselah going clockwise to decide the order in which they block. There are exceptional cards that will enable you to block a direct action against another Methuselah as Eagle’s Sight or Falcon’s Eye, but the targeted Methuselah decide first and if they decline to block or are unable to do it, then you can try it.
When the action is undirected, the prey of the action player is the first to decide if he/she wants to block, then the predator of the acting player and then the rest of the players clockwise.
If a minion tries to block and fails, other minions can still try to block, for example:
Juan bleeds Marta, that decide to try to block with an unlocked vampire, then Juan plays a +1 Stealth card so Marta is not able to block with the vampire, but she then declares that Carlton Van Wyk will try to block the action, as he is unlock, and this time she succeeds in blocking the bleed.
When a minion is acting he/she can play Stealth that represents its efforts to do the action discreetly. At the same time, Intercept represents the effort of other minions to uncover their plans. If the intercept equals or exceeds the stealth then the action is blocked. Stealth can only be played in case it’s necessary, as goes for intercept, except that the card says otherwise.
If all the blocks fail then the action resolves successfully, and the effects of the action take place.
Political actions only express the terms of the action once the action resolves, in other words when there are no blocks or all the blocks have failed.
In case that the action it’s blocked, then a combat will occur, and will resolve in one or more rounds. We will live the explanation about the combat subject for another post.
In the influence phase you can use a bit of your power to influence other minions in order for them to carry your will.
By defect, a Methuselah gets 4 transfers that can use in various ways:
- Use 1 transfer to move 1 point of blood from its pool to the minion.
- Use 2 transfers to move 1 point of blood from the minion to its pool.
- Use 4 transfers to move a crypt card from the crypt to the uncontrolled zone.
In any moment of the phase, when a minion has as many blood counters as its maximum capacity it can move from the uncontrolled zone to the ready zone face up.
Transfers are calculated at the start of the influence phase, 4 by defect, and if at the start of the phase, you control any card or minion that may give you more transfers, for example Ennoia’s Theatre, we could use them.
In the case of a minion that enters in play during the phase, and that minion will give you additional transfers, as for example Ingrid Rossler, we won’t be able to use them, because we didn’t have them at the beginning of the phase.
We get a discard action by default. We can use that action to discard a card (and replace it with a new one) or to put in play and Event card. We can only put in play one event card for discard phase, even if we have more than one discard action.
Right before we end our discard phase, we should regularize our hand, that means to discards as many cards as needed until we get down to 7. This may occur when we play for example, Dreams of the Sphinx, which can be locked to get 2 additional cards, in that case we will get 9 cards and when we reach the end of the turn should get rid of 2 in order to reduce our hand to 7 cards.
Winning the game:
When your prey dies, you get 1 victory point and 6 points of pool. When the game ends the player with more points wins, even if he/she is dead.
In case you are the remaining player you get 1 extra victory point.
In the exceptional case, that a player dies at the same time as his/her prey, that player will get the victory point but not the 6 points of pool.
There is an exceptional case in which you can withdraw from the game and maintain all your victory points.
At the start of your turn, when you no longer have library cards and your hand is smaller than 7, you can announce your intention to withdraw. In order to successfully withdraw you have to meet the following requirements:
- None of your minions can enter combat until your next unlock phase.
- None of your minions can lose or spend any of its blood or life, until your next unlock phase.
- You can’t lose or spend any of your pool until your next unlock phase.
If you meet all those requirements, you get your victory point along with all the other victory points that you may have. Your predator gets no victory point nor the 6 points of pool for that.
For a long time I’ve been intrigued with Tzimisce Walls, because I constantly see people using decks that are not optimal, in my opinion. I’ve also seen some people using ideas that were unique to them and that I think could be incorporated in the whole of the concept. Two examples are Banshee Ironwail (a must in this deck in my opinion) and Sascha Vikos ADV (number one Tzimmy), as shown to me by Nuno Moure and Carlos Santos, respectively. It is astonishing to me how people prefer Lambach to Vykos ADV. I needed to learn how to play with walls, as I have never really liked it.
Sure, my Grinder or my Nephandi decks turn into walls more often then not, but to play with something that just blocks and cannot deal 8 or 10 damage to a pool in a turn was something I never liked. The first obvious choice was more Smiling Jacks. Then came the constant pressure with +1 bleed vampires. Besides the exercise to build and play, I felt so frustrated with players that are inexperienced and still are arrogant as wrestling stars or spoiled children, that I wrote the text bellow as a rant.
This was to release when and only when I would win a Tournament with the companion deck that I built while writing and reviewing this article.
I thought it would take months or years.
I won at first try.
Wall Pitfalls – an essay in Arrogance
People think that Wall decks are decks that must block all relevant actions and many times, Walls fail exactly because of this. The definition itself gives us a hint, think about it: walls stop things that go against them. They do not run in front of objects or persons to stop them.
Your deck is designed to block bleeds with 6+ intercept? So… you use 5+ cards to stop an action, plus what you need to resolve combat?
Sounds like the “CEL QUI combat Holy Grail Quest” (another story, for another post).
What is more important for you? Blocking everything? Enter into surprise combats like a ninja? Stop the table from doing exactly what YOU want?
Win the game?
First, we must define the pitfalls.
1. Arrogant Walls.
Man is yet to built a wall that has not been breached.
Enhanced Senses, Cats’s Guidance, Spirit’s Touch, Precognition, Eagle’s Sight, Forced Awakening, On the Qui Vive, Eyes of Argus… only THEN do you start thinking about Telepathic Misdirection and My Enemy’s Enemy… or, (Guinness forbid!) Delaying Tactics.
Why would you need space for this? You’ll block everything, right? Your deck is designed exactly for that: block.
Why deal with the two most common offensive actions of the game with only 1 or 2 cards, with the chance to hurt your prey on the process? It’s so much better to use 5+ cards to then fail because… you know… block denial is a thing.
The savvy player will wait for the time you’re clogged with useless intercept and combat, then tap you and oust you easily. Also, don’t underestimate the cross-table oust.
And don’t get me started on people not using Carlton Van Wyk or other Ally cards.
Fortitude is a common discipline, I hear.
2. No Wall blocks everything. None.
Walls are only as strong as the materials in them.
99% of the time when a Wall is ousted, it has junk in its hand. By junk I mean things that really don’t help it survive at that moment.
You would be astonished by the low percentage of times you actually need Precognition or Spirit’s Touch to stop an action. STOP is not BLOCK.
They are different verbs. Look it up on Google.
3. Total Retaliation or powertrip Walls
“OMG! OMG! OMG! Rötschreck is the best card ever! I’m gonna be such a boss!”
No. You are not. Bosses win games.
You will create a crater, then someone else will win your table. You are trying to play rush combat with a Wall setup; let’s call it “Less Stupid Combat” (flame on, trolls :D)
Walls stop players, not Minions. Wall decks are closer to Grinder decks than they are to Combat decks. As in biology, you can research the DNA of both types to see common ancestors (again, another post).
Before anything, YOU HAVE TO SURVIVE COMBAT.
Yes, the above mentioned Master Out of Turn helps you survive ONE combat between your turns. What of the others?
If you have more then one “good combat”, you end up with more blood on vampires, more ousting power (to maybe win the table), more pool (to be less pressured to block Enkidu’s bleed for 2, or to get more vampires ready) and more permanent gear is more important that ONE combat being good.
Granted, on the one-on-one the card is good, but then it’s a “win-more” card.
Master Phase Actions are important. Also, The Rack works regardless if you can block AND aggravate in the same go.
Your Lambach dies the same way Isabel Giovanni does: as soon as they have one or zero blood on them.
Guardian Angel is better than Rötschreck.
4. Barbie builds a Wall
Walls are not meant to be pretty.
The more people painted the Berlin Wall, the closest it was to falling.
Don’t get distracted by the “I like this” or “I don’t like that” mentality.
You don’t like Vykos Adv? In this day and age filled with Masters, why would you stop yourself from having the perfect hand? There are many other such examples of people forgetting this is a mathematical system built to play the cards and the players.
Oh, you like Animalism. So cute.
Animalism brings nothing to a wall that has Auspex and a streamlined combat discipline like Vicissitude.
How much crap do YOU put in your decks “because it’s nice” or “fun”?
“But Tiago, this IS a game! It’s supposed to be fun. Don’t take that away from me, you arrogant bastard!”
Well, imaginary player, my job is not to help you have fun by using sub-par cards. You’ll have fun during 1 or 3 games, lose and resent those who actually win.
The rules say you need to play to win, the more chances you have of doing that, the more fun it is for everyone. If your main objective is not to win by the rules, you really don’t like V:tES.
But we digress (maybe I’ll address this subject in the CEL QUI combat post).
5. Sweeping Walls are not Walls
Walls are not brooms.
According to the Marin-Ribas Classification (another future post, I know), Wall decks tend to fall into the 3-player-game category.
Walls with Eagle’s Sight tend to be built by players that try to stop anybody from being ousted. This creates tension in the game, conflict between the players and über misplays. Also, tables time without a winner.
Charlie Sheen doesn’t like that.
A good Wall should win 80% to 90% of three player games it gets to, IF it uses the time up until that to get ready for it.
Of course smart players will see that from a mile away, but… Smiling Jack on the rocks is a nice drink to make bleed decks do your job for you.
6. Everyone must ask the Wall player about everything
Walls are cold. And don’t have an ego.
They don’t care. And neither should you.
This is not to say that you cannot say something about the order of who is ousted, but in the end, if you leave people alone, they leave you alone and see you as a lesser threat.
Walls are discouraging. Just by looking at your ready region, people should lose motivation to do anything bad to you.
Or using cards that are not threatening like Guardian Angel.
Lodin is good. Multiple Lodins is better.
Walls stop things that go against them. They do not run in front of objects or persons to stop them.
Man is yet to built a wall that has not been breached.
Walls are only as strong as the materials in them.
Walls stop players, not Minions.
Walls are not meant to be pretty.
Walls are not brooms.
Walls are cold. And don’t have an ego. They don’t care.
By Tiago Brum. Tiago Brum has been National Champion of Portugal in 2011, 2012 and 2014. He is in the V:tES Hall of Fame.