Recent Winners

While still in my mind, for many years, my only real motivation with V:TES tournaments was winning with particular clans, whether those without wins or, when more and more clans ceased being winless, those shafted in the game.  More recently, I haven’t really been following winning decks on an overall level.  Given our qualifier in a couple of weeks being one of the few tournament opportunities in the span of a year, I’m inclined to take a look around and see if anything interesting is going on that may have been missed.

So, in 2009 and 2010, from http://thelasombra.com/decks/clan-twd.htm, we get:

Ahrimanes:  5, 1+4 – ticking back up

Akunanse:  7, 3+4 – much higher than I expected

Assamites:  5, 4+1 – low, what’s going on fanboys?

Baali:  8, 4+4 – this actually seems low

Blood Brothers:  1, 0+1 – just a really horrible clan

Brujah:  14, 9+5 – KoT, KoT, KoT

!Brujah:  2, 2+0 – *sigh*, business as usual

Caitiff:  3, 2+1 – don’t actually care

Daughters of Cacophony:  1, 0+1 – really?

Followers of Set:  9, 6+3 – how the almost mighty have fallen

Gangrel:  11, 7+4 – how the truly mighty have fallen

!Gangrel:  6, 4+2 – business as usual

Gargoyles:  7, 3+4 – nothing Gargoyle matters while Tupdog exists

Giovanni:  22, 14+8 – robust!

Guruhi:  7, 2+5 – Nana, Animalism is sure good these days, too

Harbingers of Skulls:  2, 0+2 – of course

Imbued:  14, 6+8 – not dead yet

Ishtarri:  5, 5+0 – interesting drop off

Kiasyd:  7, 1+6 – unsurprising uptick

Lasombra:  17, 10+7 – solidly in the middle

Malkavians:  41, 22+19 – mighty!

!Malkavians:  14, 8+6 – not bad for the other clan with Dementation

Nosferatu:  16, 9+7 – just keeps getting wins

!Nosferatu:  5, 3+2 – business as usual

Osebo:  4, 3+1 – business as usual

Pander:  4, 3+1 – aaaaaaahhh, the old ones rise!

Ravnos:  9, 3+6 – double from 2009 to 2010?

Salubri:  3, 1+2 – also double, but too low to judge

!Salubri:  3, 3+0 – the bloom is off

Samedi:  2, 2+0 – really? they aren’t that bad

Toreador:  17, 8+9 – bland

!Toreador:  8, 4+4 – where have all of the Palla Grandes gone?

Tremere:  21, 12+9 – not shocking

!Tremere:  19, 7+12 – would be shocking if there weren’t obvious reasons

True Brujah:  2, 0+2 – look, Auspex

Tzimisce:  14, 9+5 – trending downwards or just a down year?

Ventrue:  38, 30+8 – what a year, last year, for them

!Ventrue:  27, 14+13 – Hugh, play something different

Let’s reorganize this some, putting them into natural groups.

Brujah:  14, 9+5
Gangrel:  11, 7+4
Malkavians:  41, 22+19
Nosferatu:  16, 9+7
Toreador:  17, 8+9
Tremere:  21, 12+9
Ventrue:  38, 30+8
Caitiff:  3, 2+1

As good as KoT has been to Brujah, who certainly needed the help, they still fare poorly.  Gangrel do surprisingly poorly, likely because there’s nothing to fill the Tradition void this time around like there was when they gained Serpentis.  The Malk and Ventrue domination is stunning.  Sure, they dominated early in the game’s history, but other clans held their own to a much better degree for many years.

A question begged is why Malks and Ventrue have done so well since 2009.  I’m sure there are plenty of theories.  Lutz is overly popular.  Dementation bleed doesn’t go out of style.  Etc.  I do find it interesting that both clans match up well against winnie Animalism.  The former because it can just nuke any deck before it gets going, the latter with multiaction and superb combat defense, often in the same card.

The next question that comes to mind is why the Ventrue dropped off so much from 2009.  Overplayed in 2009, with ennui setting in?  Then, the Malks’ 2010 is huge even compared to other Cammies.

Sucks to be 1 or 2 caps these days.  Actually, I think the design of 1 caps has gotten worse, often making them useless even without Scourge of the Enochians.

High:  41   2009:  30   2010:  19

Low (ignoring Caitiff):  11   2009:  7   2010:  4

Assamites:  5, 4+1
Followers of Set:  9, 6+3
Giovanni:  22, 14+8
Ravnos:  9, 3+6

Crazy disparity, here.  Start at the top, Assamites dropped from 14 wins in 2008.  I’m not terribly surprised since there’s not much new to do.  FoS didn’t change that much.  Ravnos picked up in 2010.  In 2008, Giovanni did quite well, as well.  It’s funny that Ashur Tablets opens up recursion to everyone, but in a day and age when the ash heap is the hotness, Giovanni still abuse it better with Shambling Hordes, Sudario Refraction, Khazar’s Diary, et al.

High:  22   2009:  14   2010:  8

Low:  5   2009:  3   2010:  1

!Brujah:  2, 2+0
!Gangrel:  6, 4+2
Lasombra:  17, 10+7
!Malkavians:  14, 8+6
!Nosferatu:  5, 3+2
Pander:  4, 3+1
!Toreador:  8, 4+4
!Tremere:  19, 7+12
Tzimisce:  14, 9+5
!Ventrue:  27, 14+13

In reality, these should be broken up even more.  Lasombra and Tzimisce should be compared against each other – they are close enough to call a wash.  Then, pull out Pander, who the Enochians are after and who have always gotten ill treatment.

Leaving the antitribu, the stories are:  !Brujah suck, as usual; !Tremere are rockin’, no doubt due to Nephandus; and, !Ventrue are off the hoof, ho! the day of the grinder is here.

High:  27   2009:  14   2010:  13

Low:  2   2009:  2   2010:  0

High is better than indies due to 2010, lows are just sad.

Ahrimanes:  5, 1+4
Baali:  8, 4+4
Blood Brothers:  1, 0+1
Daughters of Cacophony:  1, 0+1
Gargoyles:  7, 3+4
Harbingers of Skulls:  2, 0+2
Kiasyd:  7, 1+6
Salubri:  3, 1+2
!Salubri:  3, 3+0
Samedi:  2, 2+0
True Brujah:  2, 0+2

It always amazes me how few people play bloodlines … it’s obvious you only get numbers this low when you don’t even try.  Kiasyd are finally rising up, something that should have happened from day 1.  Baali aren’t doing quite as well as one might think, but, then, a lot of the “Girls” decks aren’t Baali decks.

I could speak more about bloodlines, but, really, what’s the point?  People don’t play them, so they don’t win, and the numbers are too low to draw much in the way of meaningful conclusions about how they fare against each other.  Harbingers double their win total this year, and … whatever.  Still no Nagaraja win at all, and, of course, I don’t consider the Fuzzface deck an Abomination deck.

High:  8   2009:  4   2010:  4

Low:  0   2009:  0   2010:  0

Ridiculous.  Leads me to believe that tournament results, more than ever, are coming from highly competitive events where people play boring crap.

Akunanse:  7, 3+4
Guruhi:  7, 2+5
Ishtarri:  5, 5+0
Osebo:  4, 3+1

I totally don’t remember all of those 2009 Ishtarri decks.  I don’t really remember any Akunanse decks.  The only thing not flying under the radar is that Nana has led to Guruhi being viable, with them going from 3 wins prior to 2009 to more than triple that today.

Akunanse are flat, having about 4 wins a year except for 2007.  Osebo chug along at 2 wins a year.  Ishtarri were fine through 2009, 2010 has been harsh to them.  They did get little from Ebony Kingdoms, but, then, so did Osebo.  I might believe that there are few Laibon players and Guruhi cannibalized wins from Ishtarri, or something.

High:  7   2009:  5   2010:  5

Low:  4   2009:  2   2010:  0

Imbued:  14, 6+8

Pretty flat, as 2007 saw seven wins.  Enough of the metagame to matter – note how much better they do than Laibon, bloodlines, low tier Sabbat clans, and, impressively, most of the original independents.

Of course, a major piece of the metagame – non”clan” decks – is missing from this analysis.  I’m sure there are quite a few winnie decks not being taken into account, and cursory examination reveals a good number of superstar or multifattie decks, such as “Girls”.  Not that I was trying to break things down for high level competition, I was much more interested in more flavorful elements of the game.

Once upon a time, I would have concluded that I needed to play Nagaraja, followed by Abominations, then other loser clans.  Do I still care about such things?  Well, guess I’ll find out in 12 or so days.

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6 Responses to Recent Winners

  1. Brandon says:

    Ritual Scalpel FTW! Oh, wait….

  2. Bill Ricardi says:

    How come nobody has built the killer Kanimana Belghazi deck? Surely that mix of disciplines and the Nagaraja retainer blood engine has to be good at some level?

  3. KevinM says:

    The Blood Brothers got AWESOME cards in HttB, but evidently only Darby can use them effectively. I should grab his decklist and post it here, if he’ll let me. It’s ridiculously good.

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