I’ve been thinking, on and off, for some time about how I’ve abandoned staple plays in V:TES. Card cycling masters being the biggest offense, with squeezing blood management increasingly out being another that often comes to mind.
I crave variety, which is why CCGs suit me so well. Sometimes, playing something I haven’t in quite some time is not “been there, done that” but “oh yeah, forgot about this”.
So, to get back to the old timey plays, it’s time to think boring, bland, mundane, and banal.
Card cycling masters. The Barrens, Dreams, Fragment of the Book of Nod. Actually, the last is not something I’ve ever played heavily, so that might be too novel a move. Have to consider.
Blood management masters. I got into the habit of running five Blood Dolls in 80 card decks. Got to make sure I can hunt + Blood Doll every turn for maximum tedium. So, six Blood Dolls.
This leaves around 7-9 master slots. Information Highway is fine, but I still play this card all of the time, so it’s kind of not that retro. On the other hand, it’s definitely boring. I envision a hunting ground for classicness. I guess I need to know what the rest of the deck does before figuring out the rest of the masters. I might take slots on clan cards.
Bleed bounce. Once upon a time, it was six of this and six wakes minimum. I moved to eight of each minimum in theory but not necessarily in practice. Let’s go with seven of each and adjust later. There are only two choices – Deflection and Telepathic Misdirection. Deflection means the most overseen discipline in the game, which sounds more boring.
If the goal was to go retro, it would be seven Wakes. But, the goal is to be as boring as possible, instead, and On the Qui Vive is just a better card. Fourteen slots on wake + bounce. Assuming 16 masters, that leaves 50 slots for other cards.
Dominate. I actually play Govern rarely and Conditioning much more rarely than I used to. So, both of these should show up. Six of each sounds like a reasonable starting point. Bonding is something I mostly left behind, so maybe four of those, too. Down to 34 non-master slots (or I could change the deck size).
Dominate Kine Dominance is not a terribly boring card(s). What other boring Dominate plays are there?
Stealth? Dominate + stealth is boring. Dominate + Obfuscate is particularly boring. But, the point is to remember cards I’ve abandoned and I play Obfuscate all of the time. Fortitude is not a serious contender either as the point is to remember good cards I played all of the time that I’ve forgotten.
If anything, of old school cards, Majesty would be most forgotten, even if I still play it. Since combat is so new age, seems like avoiding it rather than trying to fit it in makes sense. Ten Majestys? Seems like a lot. But, I remember when I used to play a bunch of these, though they were free back in the day.
Seems like I’m in Ventrueland. If I’m in Ventrueland, what can I do with my last 24 slots?
Voting and bleeding? In the same deck? How varied. How complicated. I need to have boring things to do and voting is just too varied. Since I’m covered on bleed defense and I don’t care about defense against anything else, I need blood gain so that I can Blood Doll off and pay for my Majestys and Conditionings.
Hunting is something I need to get back to. I’ve made my living off of hunting. Blood and souls for my Lord Arioch, oh, and I hunt. Aaron’s Feeding Razor is a way to go but not what I think of as a good card, more a specialized card. If I were Sabbat, The Hungry Coyote would help. But, some of the value in hunting is when you don’t leverage it and it’s just a time wasting action, so maybe not helping hunting is the proper boring way to go.
I’m either going to get blocked or I’m not. Without stealth, it’s just a match up game. If I don’t, I hunt or bleed for six or whatever. What did I used to do about getting blocked? Majesty is there, but what else? Threatening combat only works when you have a combat discipline (faking a combat discipline is not nearly boring enough). Vicissitude was good for this back in the day when people ignored that Vicissitude is really a stealth bleed discipline. The beauty of Vicissitude now (and for many years) is that it synergizes so well with Majesty – Inner Essence + Majesty is free combat ends, maybe blood gain, maybe untap.
Fortitude would give Restoration, which I’ve come to believe an underrated card and which doesn’t require doing weird things with getting Vicissitude. Prima Facie, Restoration, probably with some Freak Drives, seems more boring, but Restoration isn’t a forgotten card to me so much as one I’m only starting to embrace. It also works against hunting. On the other hand, Inner Essence isn’t so much forgotten, either.
If anything, cards like Cooler are forgotten. Nothing intrinsically wrong with Cooler, just not a card I was ever that excited by. Another card that works against hunting, but at least, I can Cooler and, then, hunt later.
Other equipment. There are so many pieces of equipment that I forget. In fact, I can’t think of them all off the top of my head because there are so many. Tend to forget Changeling Skin Mask (even if I play it way more than others), etc. I still play .44s frequently, so they aren’t forgotten, even if they are boring. Leather Jacket is a more forgettable card that is also fairly boring.
However, between Governs, Coolers, and hunting, I’m running into action overload. So, maybe I can’t justify more equipment. If I go with four Coolers, I have 20 slots left. I’m good on bleed action modifiers but lacking elsewhere. I’m low on reactions. I’m lacking allies and retainers, though they take more actions.
Mr. Winthrop is a card I’ve begun to forget about. Add in some Sport Bikes and Repo Man (which is not a forgettable card at all to me but seems like a card that most other people never think about for some reason) and I have casual intercept, which is a nice boring, tend to forget about thing to do. Repo Man theoretically saves some equip actions on the Bikes. If I double on Repo Man, that’s like seven slots. Could even The Summoning him into play for tech and for remembering the underused The Summoning. This leads to wanting to have another ally target. Carlton is another card I’ve gotten away from because it has been boring to just throw him into every deck. Two The Summonings and a Carlton puts me at 10 slots left.
Now, I really am choking on actions, so six Freak Drives. The Kiss of Ra is something I sometimes forget about that can be annoying. Change of Target I forget about for weird decks where I think it’s worth playing. This isn’t a weird deck.
What am I forgetting about? Direct Intervention is something I have moved away from playing, so it’s a natural inclusion in my master section that hasn’t been filled out yet. Sudden/Wash aren’t nearly as boring, so screw them. Maybe The Coven, which I’ve played recently, but which I tend to forget about given Lilith’s Blessing, Life in the City, et al.
There’s just something I know I’m missing from old school sets. Something important.
Anyway, Ventrue Headquarters is strong, but I’m not voting, so I don’t really care one way or the other. I don’t know what my crypt looks like, so I might already have a bunch of votes, anyway. Maybe, I need more Majestys to make sure I am protected in combat and to untap reliably. Still, somehow, I feel like I’m going to end up five cards short.
75 or 80? Do I build to 75, knowing that decking is likely not going to happen or do I seek out more forgotten plays to fill out to 80?
When I have a chance, I’ll rummage through FELDB and try to figure it out. In the meantime, one might wonder what the value of this post was.
“Sure, it’s one of the best cards in the game, but it’s so boring …”