Heirs to the Blood Precons

I don’t want to bitch about how the Heirs to the Blood precons are built.  They make a lot more sense than most of the older precons.  And, the goals of those publishing them don’t seem to be the goals I would have.  I just want to make a few miscellaneous remarks.

Deck Name: “Heirs to the Blood” Gargoyle / Tremere Starter Deck
Author: Ben Peal
Description: Gargoyle / Tremere Preconstructed Starter Deck

Crypt (Capacity min=4 max=8 avg=5.7; 12 cards)
2x Cedric            6 obf pot vis FOR  Gargoyle:4
2x Rocia             8 obf FOR POT VIS  Gargoyle:4
2x Rusticus              4 for VIS      Gargoyle:5
1x Lord Ephraim Wainwright   6 for pre AUS THA  Tremere:5
1x Muhsin Samir          6 aus pot DOM THA  Tremere:4
1x Hector Trelane        5 dom nec AUS THA  Tremere:4
1x Claus Wegener         5 aus for tha DOM  Tremere:5
1x Tarrence Moore        4 aus dom tha  Tremere:5
1x Frank Weisshadel          4 dom pot tha  Tremere:4

Library (77 cards)
Master (12 cards)
1x Antediluvian Awakening
1x Barrens, The
1x Chantry
1x Depravity
2x Effective Management
1x Fame
1x Guardian Angel
1x Thaumaturgy
2x Villein
1x Wasserschloss Anif, Austria

Action (7 cards)
3x Bum’s Rush
1x Create Gargoyle
1x Defender of the Haven
1x Hatchling
1x Soul of the Earth

Ally (1 cards)
1x Rock Cat

Retainer (4 cards)
1x J. S. Simmons, Esq.
3x Razor Bat

Action Modifier (4 cards)
4x Conditioning

Reaction (20 cards)
4x Deflection
2x Patrol
4x Voices of the Castle
4x Scry the Hearthstone
6x Wake with Evening’s Freshness

Combat (29 cards)
3x Immortal Grapple
2x Pounce
2x Lead Fist
3x Raking Talons
4x Rockheart
4x Slam
4x Soak
4x Stonestrength
3x Torn Signpost

The lack of some of the Visceratika cards like Skin of the Chameleon is notable, but I can’t get too excited by that.  The Thaumaturgy skill card is horrid for the deck; maybe it was needed to put more Thaum skill cards in circulation since it’s useless to the deck where Dominate or Potence would be so much better; actually, when you consider that Dominate is reprinted in another deck, that’s out and it seems like some effort was made to print a variety of skill cards and this would be the deck that would have the Thaum card, but it doesn’t explain why there’s no Potence card in any of the decks.  Having won every game I’ve ever played with this deck and considering what a hassle it is to build slave gargoyle decks, it holds together well.  I’d like to see a couple of Blood Dolls or some sort of additional pool gain.

Deck Name: “Heirs to the Blood” Kiasyd / Lasombra Starter Deck
Author: Ben Peal
Description: Kyasid / Lasombra Preconstructed Starter Deck

Crypt (Capacity min=5 max=10 avg=6.6; 12 cards)
1x Pherydima    8  obt pot DOM MYT NEC      Kiasyd:4
1x Omme Enberbenight      7  cel dom MYT OBT        Kiasyd:4
1x Roderick Phillips March 7  cel obt tha DOM MYT   Kiasyd:4
2x Isanwayen            6  DOM MYT OBT      Kiasyd:4
1x Dame Hollerton       5  myt DOM OBT      Kiasyd:4
1x Luca Italicus     10 tha DOM FOR NEC OBT POT     Lasombra:4
1x Lord Vauxhall     7  DOM OBT POT THA         Lasombra:4
1x Virginie, Prodigy    6  obt DOM POT          Lasombra:4
1x Black Wallace    6  obt tha DOM POT      Lasombra:4
1x Andrew Emory     5  aus dom pot OBT      Lasombra:4
1x Ermenegildo, The Rake 5  pot DOM OBT         Lasombra:4

Library (77 cards)
Master (14 cards)
2x Blind Spot
2x Capitalist
1x Channel 10
1x Dominate
1x Obtenebration
1x Political Hunting Ground
1x Sudden Reversal
1x Vessel
2x Villein
2x Wider View

Action (9 cards)
1x Eternal Vigilance
1x Goblinism
6x Govern the Unaligned
1x Song of Pan

Equipment (3 cards)
1x Zaire River Ferry
1x Tinglestripe

Ally (2 cards)
2x Nocturn

Retainer (1 cards)
1x Mr. Winthrop

Action Modifier (18 cards)
1x Blanket of Night
6x Bonding
4x Shadow Play
1x Shroud of Absence
6x Stone Travel

Reaction (10 cards)
2x Covincraft
2x Folderol
3x Obedience
3x On the Qui Vive

Combat (9 cards)
3x Absorb the Mind
1x Autonomic Mastery
2x Darkness Within
3x Oubliette

Combo (11 cards)
4x Aura Absorption
3x Fae Contortion
4x Murmur of the False Will

Blind Spot?  Really?  I already feel like I have way too many of this niche card.  What I’d replace with really depends upon the goal.  If the goal is to help the deck with evasion, Misdirection or Anarch Troublemaker.  If the goal is to upvalue the deck, The Hungry Coyote.  Again, it’s hard to say a lot about precons when the goals aren’t clear and when they seem to conflict with my own interests in what precons should be.  

On the other hand, Capitalist is absurd.  Maybe it’s possible for the game to change in some way to where Capitalist won’t be strictly inferior (in all practical ways) to Perfectionist, but I doubt it will ever happen.  I certainly don’t need more of either Capitalist or Perfectionist, but whoever could use more archetypes should not comprehend why Capitalist got reprinted.

I wasn’t expecting more copies, but Shroud of Absence shouldn’t be anywhere near as rare as it is – it’s trying to argue things like this that burnt me out on arguing for anything with CCGs.  No Earth Swords is so weird.  Why play Kiasyd?  Sure, some of the cards are super flexible, but what makes them distinct from Lasombra?  As much as Lasombra have Potence, I see there being a comparative advantage to Kiasyd combat.  Tinglestripe feeds this, but then, why not support with Earth Swords?  Where’s the Darkling Trickery?  Surely, everyone knows that every deck is better with ultrarare weapon hosers.  Oh … right, put them in a precon, and they aren’t ultrarare anymore.  Everyone knows that fixed rarity weapon hosers suck.

Deck Name: “Heirs to the Blood” Salubri antitribu / Ventrue antitribu Starter Deck
Author: Ben Peal
Description: Salubri antitribu / Ventrue antitribu Preconstructed Starter Deck

Crypt (Capacity min=3 max=8 avg=5.7; 12 cards)
2x Uriel        8 ani obe AUS FOR VAL   !Salubri:4
1x Aredhel      5 aus FOR VAL       !Salubri:4
1x Langa        5 for VAL       !Salubri:4
1x Nkechi       4 aus for val       !Salubri:4
1x Rashiel      3 for val       !Salubri:4

1x Polly Kay Fisher     8 for pot AUS DOM THA   !Ventrue:4
1x Titus Camille    8 for AUS DOM OBF   !Ventrue:4
1x Jefferson Foster     6 for tha AUS DOM   !Ventrue:4
1x Mariel St. John  6 dom pro AUS FOR   !Ventrue:4
1x Jephta Hester    5 aus DOM FOR       !Ventrue:4
1x Neighbor John    5 dom for AUS       !Ventrue:4

Library (77 cards)
Master (12 cards)
1x Auspex
2x Blooding by the Code
1x Corporate Hunting Ground
1x Fame
1x Fortitude
1x Information Highway
1x Path of Retribution, The
2x Vessel
2x Villein

Event (1 cards)
1x Dragonbound

Action (15 cards)
3x Abbot
1x Blessing of the Name
2x Brother in Arms
4x Govern the Unaligned
1x Graverobbing
2x Rumble
2x Sense Death

Equipment (5 cards)
5x Baseball Bat

Action Modifier (2 cards)
2x Dawn Operation

Reaction (19 cards)
3x Enhanced Senses
3x Eyes of Argus
1x Melange
3x Precognition
2x Telepathic Counter
5x Wake with Evening’s Freshness
2x Hide the Heart

Combat (23 cards)
1x Blissful Agony
1x Eye of Unforgiving Heaven
5x Indomitability
3x Sword of the Righteous
3x Target Vitals
5x Unflinching Persistence
3x Vengeance of Samiel
2x Death Seeker

The best value deck?  Eyes of Argus is one of those cards you want like 60 of.  Target Vitals is something I don’t have arbitrarily large numbers of.  Guess it depends upon whether you care about cards like Blissful Agony, or, more precisely, whether you can find other people who care about it if you don’t, something that should be fairly easy.

Nothing makes me hate melee weapons as much as precons.  Actually, with KoT’s Toreador deck, nothing makes me hate crappy weapons as much as precons.  Oh well, let it go, just let it go.

Deck Name: “Heirs to the Blood” Samedi / Nosferatu Starter Deck
Author: Ben Peal
Description: Samedi / Nosferatu Preconstructed Starter Deck.

Crypt (Capacity min=4 max=10 avg=6.4; 12 cards)
1x Troglodytia      10 obf pot AUS FOR NEC THN  Samedi:4
2x Baroque      7 aus for obf NEC THA       Samedi:5
1x Tanginé      7 ani nec pot OBF THN       Samedi:4
1x Macoute      6 obf thn FOR NEC       Samedi:4
1x Abebe        4 nec obf thn           Samedi:4

1x Federico di Padua    7 ani AUS OBF POT       Nosferatu:5
1x Shahid       7 ani for pro OBF POT       Nosferatu:4
1x Topaz        7 ani for qui OBF POT       Nosferatu:4
1x Harold Tanner    6 ani dom obf POT       Nosferatu:4
1x Petra        5 aus ANI OBF           Nosferatu:4
1x Slag         4 ani obf pot           Nosferatu:5

Library (77 cards)
Master (14 cards)
4x Agent of Power
2x Coroner’s Contact
1x Dreams of the Sphinx
1x Dummy Corporation
1x Houngan
2x Vessel
2x Villein
1x Warsaw Station

Action (18 cards)
4x Computer Hacking
2x Deep Song
1x Divine Sign
2x Horseshoes
2x Little Mountain Cemetery
3x Night Moves
2x Off Kilter
1x Patagia: Flaps Allowing Limited Flight
1x Rampage

Equipment (6 cards)
3x Camera Phone
3x Sport Bike

Ally (4 cards)
3x Reanimated Corpse
1x Underbridge Stray

Action Modifier (20 cards)
4x Cloak the Gathering
2x Freak Drive
1x Hag’s Wrinkles
4x Lost in Crowds
1x Marked Path
2x Mask of a Thousand Faces
4x Veil the Legions
2x Under my Skin

Reaction (9 cards)
2x Elder Intervention
4x On the Qui Vive
3x Steadfastness

Combat (6 cards)
2x Cold Aura
2x Compress
2x Soak

Ignoring card value (dollar dollar bills), unsurprisingly, I consider this the real loser of the decks.  It’s not so much because it can’t function, it’s just that, as usual, it feels like it has no heart, just a cobbled together mash of stuff with mediocre plays.  With the other precons, you can kind of gloss over the junk because things stand out.  Here, I’m drawn to x4 Agent of Power as clunky and sketchy, any copies of Night Moves (a way overplayed card IMO), that there should be more equipment (like weapons, wait, they would probably suck, nevermind) and at least one more Hag’s Wrinkles (it’s the most interesting thing Than does designspacewise).  The combat is amusing, but I don’t think amusing is a design goal.  You are kind of screwed with Samedi and another clan because of the lack of crossover – I understand that.  Nevermind being screwed by the awful Legacies of Blood Samedi.  So, it’s a lot better than it could be.

Repo Man – the obvious addition/reprint/upvaluer.

Anyway, I give credit to these decks being not absurd and being far more playable.  I wish someone like Ben had been designing the many ludicrous precons we’ve seen in the past.  And, while the Samedi deck doesn’t excite me within itself, it has value cards.

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2 Responses to Heirs to the Blood Precons

  1. finbury says:

    For the Samedi, the choice of Nos instead of !Nos is the mystifying bit. G4/G5 !Nos have a bunch of vampires with fortitude, allowing you to completely throw away animalism and necromancy and focus the library a great deal. It also would allow the use of Steadfastness to bolster defenses.

    The deck should also clearly have Conceal and Archon Investigation.

  2. Brad says:

    Played Samedi pre-con in the DDC ‘post-release’. Seems like the deck makes a big effort get intercept. Unfortunetely, the other pre-cons just kick your ass in combat. Well, I don’t expect much from pre-cons, other than to just ogle the new cards.

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