Weak 1 – Laecanus

Those who read this blog may have seen my comment about doing Card of the Weak exercises as an inspiration for deck ideas.

From http://www.vtes.net:

Should every card have at least one purpose? Sure. At least two? At least three? Most cards in CCGs are coasters when it comes to constructed play. Not that that’s a good thing, but it does put into context the idea of how worthwhile any individual card should be. When it comes to vampires in V:TES, I tend to believe that they should have multiple uses, but to be fair, a lot aren’t terribly flexible.

Just as an example, in and of herself, Victoria Ash is a quality cupcake. Yet, she’s played way, way less than one would expect, checking her out, out of the context of what sort of Toreador decks are typically played group 1/2 or 2/3. She even has frickin’ Dominate to fit in with the Ansons, Annekes, and Alexandras of the world … and misses the AAA cut … often.

But, getting back to Laecanus, he has an obvious use. He came out of the same set as Hell-for-Leather just to make sure that nobody missed the synergy. Like:

Deck Name: 080605 For Hell
Created By: Laecanus

Crypt: (12 cards, Min: 4, Max: 21, Avg: 3.58)
4 Anarch Convert none 1 Caitiff
1 Idrissa aus CEL 4 Osebo
1 Jeremiah Noble obt pre CEL POT6 Brujah Antitribu
2 Laecanus obt pre CEL 5 Toreador
1 Rodrigo pot pre qui CEL5 Brujah Antitribu
1 Scarlet Carson O`Toole pro CEL 4 Gangrel Antitribu
1 Skryta Zyleta obf pot pro CEL5 Gangrel Antitribu
1 Steve Booth CEL pot pre pro5 Brujah

Library: (80 cards)
Master (18 cards)
6 Blood Doll
2 Fame
2 Haven Uncovered
1 Heidelberg Castle, Germany
5 Obtenebration
2 Tension in the Ranks

Action (9 cards)
2 Big Game
7 Bum`s Rush

Action Modifier (1 cards)
1 Monkey Wrench

Combat (39 cards)
2 Acrobatics
5 Concealed Weapon
2 Dragon`s Breath Rounds
2 Flash
2 Groundfighting
7 Hell-for-Leather
8 Psyche!
2 Pursuit
2 Side Strike
2 Sideslip
5 Taste of Vitae

Equipment (7 cards)
7 .44 Magnum

Event (3 cards)
1 Break the Code
1 Dragonbound
1 Uncoiling, The

Combo (3 cards)
3 Resist Earth`s Grasp

Then, when more Toreador with Obtenebration came out, we got possibilities like:

Deck Name: 090313 Laecanus Storyline
Created By: Laecanus

Crypt: (12 cards, Min: 24, Max: 40, Avg: 8.41)
3 Allanyan Serata ani AUS CEL OBT PRE9 Toreador
3 Laecanus obt pre CEL 5 Toreador
1 Melinda Galbraith obt AUS CEL DOM POT PRE10 Lasombra
1 Melinda Galbraith (ADV) obt AUS CEL DOM POT PRE10 Toreador Antitribu
3 Montecalme obt AUS CEL DOM PRE10 Toreador
1 Ondine ‘Boudicca’ Sinclair obt AUS CEL PRE PRO9 Toreador Antitribu

Library: (75 cards)
Master (17 cards)
1 Aching Beauty
1 Art Museum
1 Barrens, The
4 Blood Doll
3 Dreams of the Sphinx
2 Information Highway
1 Pentex Subversion
4 Villein

Action (6 cards)
4 Descent into Darkness
1 Entrancement
1 Portrait, The

Action Modifier (16 cards)
3 Aire of Elation
1 Blanket of Night
4 Perfect Paragon
1 Shadow Play
1 Shroud of Night
1 Stone Travel
1 Tenebrous Form
4 Voter Captivation

Political Action (8 cards)
2 Consanguineous Boon
2 Kine Resources Contested
2 Neonate Breach
1 Political Stranglehold
1 Reins of Power

Reaction (13 cards)
4 Eyes of Argus
1 My Enemy`s Enemy
4 On the Qui Vive
4 Telepathic Misdirection

Combat (8 cards)
2 Dodge
1 Flash
4 Majesty
1 Unholy Penance

Ally (1 cards)
1 Carlton Van Wyk (Hunter)

Equipment (2 cards)
1 .44 Magnum
1 Bowl of Convergence

Combo (4 cards)
4 Resist Earth`s Grasp

I have a hard time believing the Descents into Darkness are real, I’m thinking they are probably proxies. Maybe I’m missing something from what the storyline rules were or maybe I was into some seriously weird tech at the time, but I think assuming that those are supposed to be good cards may be the way to go.

But, the problem with Laecanus in the second deck is that you pretty much never want him instead of another vampire. Why? Because Auspex is kind of useful, especially the older you get. The omission isn’t all that noticeable with some sort of CEL gun deck, but it’s painful when mixing with clanmates. Does that matter?

Goes back to how many uses a card should have. I can probably find another half a use for him, but if he had inferior Auspex, he’d still be weak for decks where Auspex is important, yet not be a cripple. Oh, but someone who doesn’t understand balance will claim that it would make him too powerful – too many points or some nonsense. By any reasonable way of measuring vampire value, he’s underpowered and having aus would only make him okayish (graduating to being a real midcap Toreador, now, if only they found better looking models for some of these Toreador …). He still ends up being filler in Toreador decks and gains insignificantly for Hell-for-Leather decks – with Auspex added, joining a 6 cap and a 9 cap as untitled vampires in his groups with Aus/Cel/Obt.

Can’t even fit into Shadowed Eyes decks – Mon Dieu!

However, given all of this, I feel compelled to try to come up with decks where he adds value. Not horrendously costed for someone with CEL, so there’s always throwing him into mono-Celerity stealth bleed, though how he differs from others in the crypt is questionable. Cel/Pre at a reasonable cost, though it’s not like that discipline combo is anything other than ubiquitous. Obt/Pre goes back to voting, where he pretty much sucks since he has no title, both disciplines at inferior, and weird combat-related specials; on the other hand, if you really, really had to make an Obt/Pre baron deck, he has friends.

Speaking of his combat specials, again with the gun theory. No frenzy means fewer equipment hoser effects, press to end is trivial to a combat deck but, in theory, means pressing out of combat when your gun maneuver is spent or the other deck is a second round combat deck (these don’t really exist, anymore, do they? well, okay, there’s ally combat decks) and saving your Psyche! to get your gun maneuver back. Of course, being immune to ‘schreck may be techy. But, by far the most important reason why no frenzy is the shiznit is that he can’t play Scourge of Alecto, therefore, any deck with Laecanus is that much less likely to have Scourge of Alecto in it, therefore you just win, baby.

Being Toreador is usually pretty sweet. You get to go to Balls where you get “tapped” while the bigshots go do the actual work. You get invited to Art Museums, which I’m sure is full of easy mortals. And, best of all, you get to do people’s Portraits, which, as long as you avoid the sewers (or bad luck or people with way too much reactions in their hands), typically ends up in a marginal profit … and awesome stories for when you are mingling in Society …

… Thing with Laecanus, though, is really, from a game play standpoint of taking advantage of clan cards, the use you usually want is him being the target for Art Museum – again and again and again – up until the point where you have conquered your fellow Methuselahs without ever having to put the supposed scholar* to work.

* A backstory scholar with no Auspex. Right. At least he can find his books fast.

Of course, I already talked about most of these things in one of my Aquarius posts. Has anything changed? Well, few more CEL/Pre options after Twilight Rebellion. Why go with a card I’ve already talked about for my first in this earth-shattering, rainbow-inducing series? Well, as much as I like Portrait better …

One Response to Weak 1 – Laecanus

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