Forgotten Sets – Anarchs

I was helping a friend build decks a couple of days ago when she mentioned a card I never think about.  The anarch mechanic has gotten massive help from Twilight Rebellion.  So, there are some old cards from Anarchs that people suddenly became much more interested in, such as Fee Stakes.

But, what about the Anarchs set’s other cards?  I feel like there’s gold to be mined in terms of decks I’ve never built by going back and looking at the forgotten cards from that set.  Well, maybe a copper mine.  Here are a few cards that I’d consider doing something with:

Bear-Baiting

Cards that require a lot of setup almost always suck.  They also tend to not be fun since you either never get off your trick or when you do you realize nobody cares about all of the effort you put in.  I remember arguing about the merits of Bear-Baiting on the newsgroup. 

The concept is still the same:  make some tiny doofus while playing humongousaurs in your crypt.  What’s different today is how many doofi exist.  Web of Knives Recruit, Waters of Duat, Tumnimos, The Becoming, whatever.  It’s still a horrible card, but it’s an amusing surprise to throw at one of my groups … assuming I can ever get it into play.

Carnivale

Always sounded reasonable.  Why not?  Especially when you consider Anson and the magic of wanting to have lots of masters in a deck.  The problem was that it’s very minor in its effect, one.  Two, there’s a principle that often applies in CCGs that people seem to subconsciously get with a lot of cards but don’t realize when actively analyzing certain cards.  Some things aren’t good because the alternatives are better.  Yes, this is just opportunity cost, again, but it’s amazing how little CCGers think of opportunity cost.

There’s two types of alternatives.  The first is playing other cards.  Conditioning is better than Threats in ~95% of the decks out there.  The second alternative is strategy.  There are the obvious differences in strategies, like playing bleed rather than combat.  There are also subtle differences in strategies. 

Suppose the basic concept of a deck involves an inability to generate more than one stealth on actions.  That’s not so great when people play with intercept.  So, what’s the answer?  One answer may be to add combat.  Another might be to overwhelm someone with actions by using Freak Drives and Majestys to untap.  Another might be to graft a stealth discipline.  Another might be to find some unblockability or other alternative evasion to stealth.  And, there’s always just ignoring the deck flaw and hoping for the best or to use elite talking skills.

Except for the last two, what we are talking about is having some sort of consistent approach to addressing a potentially consistent problem.  Adding a little bit of stealth isn’t likely to provide that sort of consistency that makes it compare with the alternative strategies available.

But, there are more ways to get a little bit of stealth these days.  Resist Earth’s Grasp supplements a Carnivale strategy.  Perfect Paragon is like stealth.  Anarch Toreador have Gear Up, Undue Influence, Power of One.  Carnivale is still minor and inflexible (would be better if it was put into play and burned to give any Toreador stealth or put on a Toreador but burned to give anyone stealth) and still eats up master slots, but it may be worth revisiting as a throw in.

Mob Rule

I don’t see this card changing in any way.  It’s only use is still to get people to burn blood off of their vampires for no real benefit.  I don’t believe blood denial has gotten any better, but that just means it comes as more of a surprise.  Well, no, not really.  I’m more interested in casual blood loss than in building a blood denial deck, though I probably should build such decks just to do something different.

Petra Resonance

I’ve always wanted to play the deck, but it’s just so stupid.  I play in a metagame where cards like Crocodile’s Tongue are virtually unplayable because people like to block with their 10 caps.  Still, some day, I should get around to doing a Petra Resonance deck just because I own some.

Sword of Nuln

I have done something with it, I just don’t remember what.  Natural combo with Biothaumaturgical Experiment, assuming you think that a combo exists with the Sword since it does hardly anything.  Troius means a second Tremere in the game with + Strength … wow, that’s fairly amazing.  I should look through clans to see how many others are so “weak”***.

Unlicensed Taxicab

I’m not mentioning a number of cards that haven’t been forgotten.  This hasn’t been forgotten by others, but damn if I can remember to include it.  I don’t need to build around it, but I should remember it exists.

The rest are either still not worth thinking about (Holds, et al), not forgotten (Repo Man, et al), or have been tried before and aren’t looking any better (Nosferatu Bestial, et al).

 

***  Wow!  It is really crazy how few vampires for certain clans get + Strength.  I tend to think of it as one of those random specials that shows up in more places than you think.  But, it’s just extremely uneven and really quite nonsensical. 

One would assume that clans with Potence would get more +Str, which is born out with a number of clans, but then, the Lasombra only have one and it’s not even real +Str!  !Ventrue have 5!!!  Gangrel get a lot, which makes some sense and helps with burning vampires with aggravated hands, but !Gangrel only have 2!!  The Laibon clans have virtually no +Str.  It was far more common in Jyhad than in more recent groups for Camarilla vampires.

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One Response to Forgotten Sets – Anarchs

  1. Azel says:

    Emissary, Emissary! talk about the improvement to Emissary from CrimethInc. ;) quietus and Firebrand will make that card sing now! :D ooh ooh ooh, and Sowing Dissension, too! ^.^

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