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?