In theory, Heirs to the Blood will be out soon. Has me thinking of building bloodline decks. Unfortunately, I’m bored with most of the bloodlines.
I’ve pretty much always been bored with Ahrimanes. Spiritus is a workman’s discipline, but it’s so dull. Animalism and Presence lack synergy. The vampires don’t have any interesting abilities. If High Top wasn’t unique, there might be something interesting to do with the clan cards.
Other than the tedious intercept combat variations, the evasion bleed deck was funny for about half a game, and voting is blah.
Need: Not bleed, not stealth, not intercept, not combat, not untaps. Something interesting to do with actions, like a non-unique ally (they are sterile after all, so no babymakers). And, of course, the game needs an Animalism/Presence card that does something useful for the clans with the disciplines.
Group 4 is shafted with one vampire with no Animalism and another with no Presence and a 6 cap with inferior Spiritus. Some group 5’s with clan disciplines or who share nonclan disciplines would help.
Interesting things to do, terrible vampires to do them with except the 10 caps and their mighty combo deck potential. Not a fan of combo decks.
The clan cards are wild and crazy and not generally unplayable, except they require Baali. They would be so much more interesting with noninfernal vampires.
Daimoinon just isn’t that strong. Certainly not as strong as it should be. Conflagration is okay but seemingly overrated. The other two combat cards are way too narrow. Sense the Sin has to do too much of the work and the inferior has synergy problems with the clan.
Need: In terms of vampires, it depends upon how you envision using the clan, I like all clans being viable for clan decks, so I see them needing filler vampires who make it worth playing multiple Baali. Daimoinon needs untaps, real combat defense to go with Conflagration, more cost reducers than Nergal, a better disciplineless bounce card. Blood gain would be interesting, something like a Darkness Within card for Dai.
Painfully boring. Sure, there are the joke decks – stealth bleed, voting. But, every time I go to build a serious BB deck, I end up with the same archetype, an archetype with the same vast problem of being able to survive real predators.
Unwholesome Bond is so abusable, assuming nobody interacts with you all game, which happens all of the time in competitive play. Rest of the stuff is vastly inferior to other cards in the game.
What’s up with the lack of clan cards?
Potence/Fortitude is an option, except they tend to suck in terms of having those disciplines at superior.
Need: Non-unique ally that isn’t overcosted. Reason to play more than one circle – there are already plenty of reasons to focus on a circle, assuming you find any reason to play them at all. Pool defense (preferably) or bloat.
Daughters of Cacophony
Often my favorite bloodline. One that I have thought has had the most options. I’ve done those options. Legacies of Blood didn’t open up anything new for them to do. Melpominee, for some reason, has all of these cards based on capacity when the oldest Daughter is 8. Better used in superstar trick decks.
Choir decks are best when you play no copies of Choir, which I’m fine with as it’s a completely uninteresting mechanic. Tourette’s Voice and Death of the Drum sit out there with no support. Voting gets old, in my case, old fast. Without vote bloat or Dominate, pool retention is a huge issue. Done the Dominate thing to death.
Need: Reasons to care about Death of the Drum and Tourette’s Voice. Since intercept is mostly out of flavor, stealth reduction would be something to support TV while getting into combat for DotD. Fat Daughters would be useful, though out of flavor. Clan card that did something different. Where I usually hope for non-unique allies because playable ones are cool, I could see a unique one in their case. Roadie would be a good title for a non-unique. Demanding Producer could be unique. Could do instruments as equipment, since burdening the game with a bunch of guitars, keyboards, et al would be inane, some unique magic, clan-specific harp would be more plausible. A babymaker would make Choir fans happy but emphasizes too much the idea of generating tons of Daughters for their open ended cards. Cards that key off of a Choir being in play might be interesting, but the reality is that DoC aren’t important enough in the game to completely develop the Choir mechanic.
When Gargoyles first came out, I couldn’t believe Visceratika. It would have been a sexy discipline for a clan that didn’t have two combat disciplines. Combat ends, continue action, stealth – yeah, those are precisely what you need when you have Potence and Fortitude.
There’s all sorts of interesting things to do but not the vampires to do them, except in annoying Tupdog decks. The slave mechanic annoys me as I really am not interested in Tremere/Gargoyle decks. I like my crypts to have all of my disciplines (and Flight). Independent Gargoyles is doable and grafting Dominate plugs one pool defense hole, but really, lots of combat potential with sketchy intercept on vampires that are above 4 cap is weak sauce.
Besides, Potence and Fortitude are boring disciplines. Visceratika and Flight would be much more exciting if there was bleeding or voting or bloating or permanenting going on. All of which can be done for the short time before you get ousted.
Need: Vampires in group 5 that are worth playing. Good disciplineless bounce card. Cost reduction of Visceratika, more cost reduction for their incredibly expensive cards.
Harbingers of Skulls
They seem like they wouldn’t be bad, until you go to play them. Pool defense is there, multiaction is there, bleed is easy to find in the game. While bleed is easy to find in the game, group 2 HoS aren’t cheap. Group 4 HoS are better than I thought but of mixed sects and have discipline holes. The big problem I see these days is that Necromancy is no longer a stealth discipline.
Back in the day, Necromancy was even kind of stealthy with just Spectral Divination. But, intercept started showing up everywhere and Necromancy didn’t advance in the path of stealth.
So, HoS have to worry about generating pool damage and getting actions through. No meaningful offensive combat in their disciplines. The Aus/Nec card was a waste – should have done something cool … and good. Clan cards are surprisingly weak. I rarely get any value out of either Erebus Mask or Lazarene Inquisitor.
The specials drew a lot of attention for my groups once upon a time, but they are all over the map. Agaitas is fine for people who like combo, but I’ve never gotten any value out of nuking weenies, everyone having Necromancy, etc.
Need: Stealth or combat. Thing is they lack a unique discipline, so anything in disciplines tends to help better clans more. Nec/For card would make sense. Better Aus/Nec card would make sense. Playable Aus/For card would be interesting, especially if it had something to do with voting to prevent helping !Ventrue, Stickmen type decks. Reason to do blood denial would go with Lazarene Inquisitor. They have their own discipline in the RPG, so there must be something to draw upon. Maybe a Nec card with a clan requirement.
I’ve always struggled with how the Ahrimanes have been more successful than the Kiasyd. The former I see being Tzimisce-lite, the latter being a Lasombra variant (less vote, less breed, more fight). I can only chalk it up to people not finding the Kiasyd more interesting. Dominate plus stealth?!? Who woulda thunk?
I’m bored with the Kiasyd as well as I’ve run out of new things to do that would be remotely interesting. Cards that do stuff and The Crutch* does not for an exciting cavalcade of possibilities make. It’s too much like so many of my other decks.
Need: Changeling allies, one that’s not unique. Further separation from Lasombra, like more fight or something. Expensive Mytherceria cards so that cost reduction actually means something.
Yes, I’ve played Nagaraja decks, couple of times at least in storylines. Just pointless. The “wow, we’d be better as Giovanni” clan. The LoB clan cards do nothing for them, which is sad.
Need: Remove scarce rule from the game. Reason to play existing clan cards. Good Aus/Nec card that separates them from Giovanni.
I want to like them. I was a huge fan in the RPG, but then, I like Fortitude in the RPG. Spirit Marionette is obnoxious. Too many Obeah cards are silly. I don’t know that anyone else has ever played a Peacemaker deck, certainly, there’s no reason to.
Renewed Vigor just doesn’t thrill me. It’s great and all, but it’s a dull mechanic that we saw with Fifth Tradition back in the day. I don’t like playing obnoxious decks, yet there’s little else to do offensively besides SM.
Need: Remove scarce rule from game. Allies. Lots of allies. Maybe those ridiculous ally relevant cards will see play.
I’m probably more associated with the dorks than any other clan, yet I like far better clans like Tzimisce and Daughters. I just don’t play good clans in tournaments.
Things I’ve done with the dorks include Obfuscate stealth bleed, Necromancy casual Smiling Jack tap bleed, vote. I’ve even built the god awful normal !Salubri decks that play Valeren and do melee weapon combat.
Need: Valeren still sucks, needs useful effects. Vampires suck, need vampires who have the clan disciplines.
One of the few clans in the game that still interests me at the clan level. The thing about Hag’s Wrinkles is that it just gets better with every new piece of playable equipment. Plus, I rarely see people do anything interesting with Samedi.
Of course, Little Mountain Cemetery opens up some interesting possibilities that don’t involve Dominate. Reanimated Corpse is so totally my kind of card, but I’m not interested in building Fletcher’s decks.
I could continue working on my Samedi vote deck as it’s kind of amusing. Obfuscate makes things possible.
Unfortunately, group 4 Samedi are unbelievably awful, so it’s just more of the same group 2/3 (or just 2) stuff. I can’t see how group 5’s will make 4’s playable unless there’s a 5er with the special “Samedi get 3 free levels of clan disciplines, so you know, you might have Fortitude and superior Thanatosis.”
Need: Cost reduction, i.e. Path for Than, Than cards that are playable instead of the mindbogglingly bad ones that currently exist, reason Samedi would want to avoid getting smacked in combat, e.g. “Opposing minion gains +3 Strength for the remainder of combat and burns 1 blood each round.”, to justify Ashes to Ashes and Dust to Dust, For/Obf card, playable vampires.
Amazingly cool cards, horrendously awful disciplines for them. No stealth, no intercept, no bounce. Scarce penalty to make sure you get ousted as quickly as possible.
The Descent Into Darkness thing has never worked for me. Almost nothing has worked for me except vote bloat in a deck that didn’t need Trujah for anything, even if I did get off Rewind Times and used Synesios’s ability to get extra master phase actions.
Just makes me sad to go to build Trujah decks as there are so many things I want to do and they all end up equaling doing nothing in practice. The multiaction ability is a trap that leads to decks with way too many actions and not a coherent plan for winning.
Need: Remove scarce rule from game. Good disciplineless bounce card. Stealth and/or intercept and/or evasion.
Why am I bored with the bloodlines? I’m bored because I’ve built so many decks. It’s hard to find things I haven’t done *and* that other people haven’t done too often (I hate building other people’s decks, don’t mind playing them, but hate building them). On the other hand, there are tons of things I haven’t done with bloodlines, most of which are horrendous nutpunchers but some of which aren’t.
I hope that new cards address needs and don’t just add a bunch of wallpaper to the game. The important thing is trying to dewallpaper old cards by making new cards that make the old much stronger. Salubri allies – c’mon, how hard is that? Not that crap like giving life to an ally is ever worth a card slot, but one can try.