Salesperson

There are a lot of aphorisms I’ve thought of that I don’t get to use because shoehorning them into a conversation just comes across as pretentious.  I should really write them down; after all, I used to write down my e-mail sigs.  One of them, which I keep waiting to whip out at the office, is “The difference between a salesperson and an analyst is that the salesperson cares about what is right with something while the analyst cares about what is wrong with it.”

My mood, at the moment, is on the analyst side, but I’m also tired of being critical and negative this weekend, so I thought of something I could write about that seems (relatively) positive (for me).

I was watching the ridiculous Brazil/USA Women’s World Cup match and, as is typical when I’m watching TV, I needed something to do in addition.  I didn’t want to keep playing one of my various solitaire bridge games, so I decided to put away some V:TES cards.  As much as I’m pro-bloodline, I build far fewer bloodline decks than I used to.  I’m sure some of that has to do with others having more success, while a lot probably has to do with the feeling of sameness when I go to build a deck to either a deck I’ve built and played, a deck I’ve built and haven’t played, or someone else’s deck.

To go off on a tangent for a moment, I’m kind of interested at the moment in playing decks posted online.  It’s always a good idea to try to view things from a different perspective, and I haven’t played someone else’s deck in a “formal” sense  in a long time.  By the way, while I hate building and playing other people’s decks and trying to claim them to any degree, I’m fine with building and playing other people’s decks for testing purposes.

So, I decided to put away bloodlines cards – vampires, clan cards, disciplines, put away Maleficia and Striga cards for the first time.  They tend to sit out longer because my bloodlines box is at the bottom of one of my piles of 5,000 count boxes.  While sorting, I got to thinking about group 4 Samedi.

While Legacies of Blood was good to Samedi, printing Reanimated Corpse and Little Mountain Cemetery, the new (at the time) group 4 Samedi had to be the worst batch of vampires ever printed in the game.  Em, being so positive so far.  The contrast to group 2 Samedi, which were fairly good if you excused how bad their bloodline discipline was, was startling.

I have actually played Macoute in a deck.  But, I got to thinking about doing the Nec/Thn thing since they were obviously intended for that, and the additions of Baroque and Morlock not only gave comparable numbers of options to group 2/3 but more minions designed for a Nec/Thn deck.

Of course, since every Samedi I’d consider for the crypt also has Obf, it’s a Nec/Obf/Thn deck.  The question with Necromancy is always what it will add to a deck.  Of course, there’s always the Shambling Hordes splash, but that has so little appeal to me.  Keystone Kine makes sense as a way to leverage Nec/Obf, though it’s usually just a Computer Hacking with this crypt.  Necromancy just has few splash effects that are all that desirable.  Back in the day, one of them would have been stealth, but Samedi are the best stealth clan in the game.  Recursion has been stolen largely by Ashur Tablets (by Sudario Refraction for Giovanni) but could be an option.  Anarchdom certainly opens up some additional effects for both Nec and Obfuscate (and Fortitude, but that’s a different crypt).

Alternatively, one can look at Necromancy through the prism of “why not play Giovanni?”, given the rather insane Giovanni clan cards and/or Dominate (sans scarceness).  Reanimated Corpse – lots of synergy with Nec in theory, Little Mountain Cemetery, equipment untaps, Off Kilter, and the rather questionable Ex Nihilo + Groaning Corpse combo seem the only reasons to dip into Samedidom.

Lacking Fortitude for non-equipment untaps, is equipment untaps sufficiently interesting to bother with?  Bleed equipment seems kind of silly, being strictly inferior to Dominate.  Sport Bikes, Nec intercept, … profit … is a business plan that I’m sure won’t generate much in the way of venture capital.  Weapons could just be Disguised out (because the Samedi discipline mix is nothing if not redundant) and offensive combat with the best combat avoidance clan in the game is always a suspect path.

There’s a reason I don’t build many Samedi decks anymore.  Bad bleed deck, bad intercept deck, bad combat deck?  Take those away and you end up left with Reanimated Corpse, LMC, and Off Kilter.  All three tend to be “linear” – being advantaged by playing more of the same.  I’m not much of a fan of decks that do the same thing repeatedly, even if I will build them, like my Off Kilter deck, my LMC deck, and maybe a RC deck at some point.

I could, of course, just throw random stuff in – Necromancy is awesome for random stuff, like Grasp the Ghostly.  With recursion from Gear Up or whatever, I can play a lot of one-ofs in my three disciplines, have three stealth disciplines to make sure all my actions succeed and … profit.  *sigh*

I do have specials; they just don’t have much synergy with each other.  +1 bleed on an unblockable minion (one with Obf/Thn) never hurts, but it’s kind of more interesting when you have non-equipment untaps to OK the edge into extra pool, whip out awesome allies, add blood counters to the acting minion and everyone in the uncontrolled region, or whatever.

I sense giving up on defense and looking for either Off Kilter or LMC bloat to survive with Nec being around for random effects and recursion.  The discipline required on this deck is not insignificant.  The temptation to go overboard with odd effects, go too far in bloating, or not go far enough in some angle that relates to actually ousting people is high.  Anarchy will only expand the number of options.  I could drop that angle, but then I lose the more exciting Gear Up for the more action inefficient Whispers from the Dead or Pandora’s Whisper.

Untapping could come from Dabbler, in theory.  While it would be good to try some Dabbler decks, I’m already trying to cover so many bases, that trying to force Dabbler triggers seems like a great way to up the nutpuncheriness.

Am I including a decklist?  No.  I started thinking about this way too late in the day to have actually already built the deck.  I could rattle off a decklist in half an hour, but given the lack of having a clear concept what I want the deck to actually do, I doubt it would be anything close to a finalized version for something I’d actually end up playing.

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5 Responses to Salesperson

  1. DeathInABottle says:

    If you want to reconsider the options with Group 2, I’ve built a successful and really, really fun deck using Rafaele, Jorge, and Jack Dawson playing Dabbler and Keystone Kine. Dabbler triggers every time they bleed. With Vessels, you can choose whether you want to turn the blood that’s gained into pool or ignore the gain and opt for an untap to take another action. It’s decent in combat, too, given Diversion.

    By the way, I’ve been reading your blog for the last year. It’s easily the best VTES blog on the net. Thanks for the thoughtful posts.

  2. Azel says:

    Go for the (comedy) gold! Divine Sign and Putrefaction as Samedi support for Daughters of Cacophony. Putrefaction works now like a combat-based Mind Numb. And the outferior is presence combat ends.

    Further, have them join the anarchs. Throw in Gear Up. Who needs focused competition when you have zany readily available?

    • iclee says:

      In truth, I probably prefer zany to trying to build good decks as the latter often ends up being dull, but zany, like fun, is not analytical. My demeanor on many CCG forums comes across far more competitively minded than I actually am because discussion needs to be analytical to be of any value and things like fun are hard to analyze.

      I could throw out all sorts of awful ideas, but why would that be of any interest to anyone? I don’t need a blog to come up with humorous deck ideas, I need a blog to try to understand games and gaming better.

      • Azel says:

        Well, Mind Numb is a nice effect and the Daughters could use some sort of defense. Divine Sign (or any intercept) + Putrefaction could be a form of predator defense. Putrefaction in this case doubles duty as S:CE and action removal, theoretically saving deck space for more forward pressure.

        The analysis here is whether reactive action removal is as good or better than proactive action removal. Naturally it delves into the vagaries of combat, therefore reliability is compromised. But it isn’t a wholly uncompetitive thought experiment.

        That said, you’ll always have an audience for zany! Hell, BAvtes’ only recognizable metagame (if such a one exists) is the never ending pursuit of zany — except every now and then something competitive rises to the surface, like scum! It’s like we’re the champions of the overlooked underdog or something; no calcification here.

  3. iclee says:

    Daughters need defense – from? Pool defense? I’d just bloat. That doesn’t work so great with non-vote builds, but there are a lot easier ways to defend with another clan than using a second clan for Divine Sign and Putrefaction – two cards that see virtually no play.

    The issue with Putrefaction is that it’s such an unknown whether it will have any impact. Does someone care about -1 Stealth? Nevermind whether it will ever land in combat.

    I’ve lumped Putrefaction in with a bunch of other unplayable Thanatosis cards, but I guess it isn’t quite as bad as an additional strike hoser. So, I could see playing the card in some way, though I’m not sure having it be used by DoC makes any sense, maybe weenie Presencers, though the best would be Presmancers because ending combat with Putrefaction rather than Spiritual Intervention should be humiliating to one’s enemies. Samedi with Presence is another way to go. !Brujah need more help with pool than DoC, that’s a much funnier match …

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