Qualifier – 2011

Weekend ended up being too busy to put thoughts down on the qualifier and other V:TES games.  Reading some other tournament reports, I don’t know if it’s that I never went into the same level of detail that others do or that I’ve lost interest in going into as much detail.  Oh well.  Highlights, then.

Event 1 (whatever it was called)

Round 1:

Andy (Cavalier Malk SB) -> Joel E. (EuroBrujah) -> Ian T. (Samedi RC) -> Joel M. (Week of Nightmares) -> Ian L. (Newcromancy)

24 players!!  Really?!?  So bizarre that we are setting attendance records.  Guess mid-December is a pretty good time for tournaments.

The Ian and Joel show was okay.  An interesting mix of somewhat notable with completely non-notable.  On turn two, I play cards, including Govern (bleed) and Spectral Div.  I never bleed like this early, but I wanted to cycle out of Summon Soul and burning the two blood seemed okay.  My overwhelming aggression was only likely to confuse my opponents.

Didn’t last long.  I played one card in the next hour.

I chose to be handjammed with two wakes and two bounce and a complete lack of masters.  In fact, I didn’t draw a master until the turn that my predator ousted me.  But, before that happened, I was in pretty good shape.  My grandprey did a good job of defending with Second Traditions, though we weren’t entirely sure why he didn’t rush backwards with Theo Bell.  Beast joined the ready region eventually.  Andy got beaten up a bit.  While I didn’t bounce much as JM tooled up with Tumnimos and whatnot, I didn’t get bounced much either, so Andy goes down to one pool and it looks like two easy VP for me, while having down little to nothing in the game.

Then, JM decides to oust me.  Andy bouncing a bleed back to me creates the kill situation, which was reasonable as I would have killed him on my turn.  It wasn’t terribly disappointing to fail to get VPs, it wasn’t like I deserved any.  The deck had a lot of masters and I didn’t bother digging, for instance.

No, what was disappointing was that I didn’t play anything interesting in the game, except, maybe, one Transfusion, which without a Path in play, wasn’t terribly meaningful.  An interesting strategic and tactical game but boring from a card interaction standpoint.

JM went on to easily get other VPs.  IT had an interesting lack of stealth in his Samedi (best stealth clan in the game) deck.  Looked like he could get JM into a non-playing position, but a Sensory Dep on The Baron was limiting and JM gained a bunch of pool off of blood farming.

Round 2:

Ian -> Matt (Pre/Obf w/ Events) -> Dan (Gargoyle bleed) -> Joel M. -> Joe (Toreador B&B)

Much more interesting for me.  I had complete control over my predator’s Toreador guns bruise and bleed deck with my early draw of two Promise of 1528s.  I played masters.  The Path of Bone never got burnt.  I wondered if my prey had Parity Shift for the longest time.  I expected his early Fortschritt Library into Break the Code to lead to The Rising, but it never hit the table.  I didn’t get the point of the event cards.

After Chair of Hades-ing Carlton, I stealth bleed Matt out by drawing into a second Govern to enable me to bleed for 12 when he had 11 pool.  While I didn’t have bounce in my hand, it was funny how the table correctly decided that my predator bleeding me when my prey was tapped out with 11 pool was a terrible thing to do.

Dan fell quickly as his deck wasn’t holding up well under the pressure of bleeds for 3 at stealth and votes for 3.  With only three bleed cards left in my library, which was maybe 25 cards tall, I couldn’t get Joel.  TW and 2.5 VPs was .5 VPs short of a tie for fifth place, so not getting one more VP was huge, potentially large.  I did consider letting Dan try to oust Joel, but I didn’t think I could ever get Joe.

Pickup Interlude:

Yeah, I really don’t have as much interest in explaining more details about games, in particular what was going on with others.

I played Ani/Cel/For, 4-cl, Jyhad/DS/AH-only.  We realized halfway in the game that my Quinton McDonnell had the only vote on the table.  My Ass, long range combat predator couldn’t really do anything to me due to my deck being full of combat cards.  On the other hand, my lack of ousting power and inability to get more permacept in play meant my Week of Nightmares prey could do whatever he wanted.

Actually, the Rom Gypsy gave him two VPs.  I had a Raven Spy early, but I couldn’t deal with two permanent stealth between RG and Fortune Teller Shop.  What was weird about this game, besides Andrei Puxon and Quinton McDonnell being combat beasts, was my prey playing Week of Nightmares when I had Andrei and Kostantin.  Kostantin got Sensory Depped, stole a Camera Phone, Freaked.  Andrei took the Camera Phone to become a three bleeder.  How to allocate Week counters was oddly wonderful with people moving them to my Andrei as well as my prey.  I kept getting SensDepped.

Long after we should have called the game and long after the Week ended, my prey conceded the last two VPs as I was gaining three pool a turn and only losing two, while doing things to me was costing my prey.  My plan was to bloat enough to bring out Lucretia, since everyone knows that’s full of win, and have two vamps not SensDepped.

Qualifier:

Ian (!Nos w/ Dominate) -> Matt (Imbued Beretta rush) -> Mike Z. (Giovanni Embraces) -> Alex (Ass w/ Dominate)

Only 21 players, heh.  Four player tables, for the most part, not as enthralling.

My game got warped horribly by the Imbued.  Because I knew that Dragon’s Breath Rounds were coming, I had to play around being tooled by Berettas.  There’s actually a lot of details I could mention about this game, but one can fill in the backwards beatdowns to stop Badr and Ur-Shulgi from bleeding me too much and whatnot.

I use Dreams at one point and my end of turn discards are Preternatural Strength, Torn Signpost, and Villein.  I had to hold on to every Swallowed by the Night for the maneuvers to make sure I could land against the Imbued and, then, started drawing Immortal Grapples, which I choked on as I couldn’t discard those either.  By playing virtually the whole game with just Julio Martinez and Mateusz, I had little ousting energy.  I kept being reluctant to bring up Gustaphe Brunnelle as I kept getting bounced to and my 4-cl deck didn’t have a whole lot of bounce.  Or, more importantly, it didn’t have a lot of wakes.  I knew my deck was wake poor, especially given the crypt size.

So, after Alex got ousted, we settled into a painful three-way of Mike not wanting to do anything into the face of my combat and my Underbridge Stray who had intercept from The Unmasking, Matt getting nowhere against Mike, and my punking an Imbued once in a while only to have it pop back up.  I actually hoped Matt would oust Mike, as I figured I could do more in a heads up game with my combat.  We timed out.  I’m mostly surprised Matt didn’t use the Imbued with built in rush to rush Mike more, but whatever.  My inability to oust a rush Imbued deck was just sad.

Round 2:

Brad (Ventrue grinder) -> Ian -> Brandon (Trem) -> Dennis (Diversion rush) -> A.J. (fat Tzimisce)

I’d say the main takeaway for me from this game is that I played it impatiently.  I played it like I see a lot of other people play.  Brad played “my game” – doing nothing until his inevitable victory.  A.J. was just impotent in the face of damage prevent.  I did bring out Gustaphe who promptly got Preternatural Strength, so at one point, Dennis and I had reduced Brandon to one ready minion, which became three ready minions, two of which were empty.  I took a low percentage shot at ousting Brandon only to have Conditioning bounced.  I was stuck on actions as I was spending so much time trying to contain Brandon, so I discarded Seal of Veddartha at one point and kept not putting Mylan into play.

Just impatient.  Though, I wasn’t at all clear how to prevent Brandon from getting 2 VPs as A.J. never got strong.  In fact, what hurt me a lot was that A.J. kept having bleeds of two bounced to me that I had to eat, which let Brad exactly oust me with a Govern when Brandon was on the ropes.

Just evidence that I suck at playing with combat decks.  First time I haven’t qualified in our local qualifier in my memory.  Really going downhill as a player – the way it should be.

Sunday

Sunday was all about pickup games with the guys up from Los Angeles.

Matt (!Gangrel vote) -> Mike Z. (Giovanni w/ Embraces) -> Ian (Dance, Dance, Revolution) -> Dennis (Journal of Hrorsh) -> Brandon (New Nos)

I am constantly amazed at how much pool damage I can do with Constant Revolution.  My opening game sucked as I had four Anarch Converts in my crypt draw.  Dennis did his Mr. Noir gains 25 pool or whatever thing when Brandon hadn’t even brought out a dude yet.

Eventually, Dennis Hostile Takeovers my Kurt Strauss and Matt gives up on the game by ousting himself with a bid of nine.  The numerous global effects of Judgment: Camarilla Segregation (Brandon), Constant Revolution (me), Anarch Revolt (me, again), even Smiling Jack (yup, me) just didn’t make the game comfortable for folks.  I’m fairly sure I could have stopped Dennis’s second round of gaining massive pool with Power of All on Freak Drive, but I was spending too much time thinking about Filchware’s and whether to stop Journal or not to actually play Power of All.

James (Corrupt Construction) -> Robert (!Toreador w/ War Ghouls) -> Ian (Blessed Resilience) -> Dennis (Eternal Mask IC) -> Matt (Trochomancy)

Matt has two Trochomancys DIed in the same turn (prey and predator).  I manage three intercept to block Ancient Influence and Matt bouncing backwards finishes off Dennis.  Robert has to go through nine crypt cards to get to a Tzimisce to play a War Ghoul.  James withdraws after sucking down a number of Trochomancys with his Corrupt Construction deck … still gets out an 18-life CC at one point.

With four possible Force of Will bleeds, I only need two to oust Matt.  Robert screws around in the endgame by bleeding for zero with a War Ghoul, so with four vampires in my ash heap, zero controlled, and zero uncontrolled, I The Parthenon, Blessed Resilience, hunt, bleed for three with Force of Will, and Call of the Hungry Dead past Robert’s second War Ghoul.  While tainted by the nonsensical War Ghoul bleed, I find ousting someone with five vampires and two War Ghouls while having no controlled or uncontrolled vampires to be highly amusing.

Dennis (Sylvie Helgon) -> James (Selma & Trap/UP) -> Ian (Nos anarch bleed) -> Brandon (Ariadne Garou) -> Mike C. (Ur-Shulgi Contract)

I figure that James’s deck is Trap/UP when March is his first dork.  Selma Anathema-ing Sylvie is just horrendous.  Even more worser is James not playing Blood Hunt on her but on my Anarch Convert, which lets Mike gain tons of pool.  Brandon offends Dennis by looking to rush Sylvie with a Garou to prevent Mike from gaining, not being aware that you have to reduce to zero in combat.  What would have been funny is Dennis’s comment about rushing my Blood Hunted Convert with Sylvie to give me pool, but alas.

Brandon knows my deck, so he rushes backwards with Garou.  I finally play a Kindred Intelligence with this deck.  I finally bring out Josef von Bauren, the only vamp above 5-cap.  I don’t do much to impact the game and get ousted.

Decks (any Path of Lilith is really Lilith’s Blessing):

Deck Name:   111127  Newcromancy
Created By:  Baldesar

Crypt: (12 cards, Min: 4, Max: 32, Avg: 4.66)
———————————————
2  Baldesar Rossellini                aus for nec DOM POT8  Giovanni
1  Don Michael Antonio Giovanni       DOM NEC POT    7  Giovanni
1  Gualtiero Ghiberti                 cel pot tha DOM NEC7  Giovanni
1  Guillaume Giovanni                 CEL DOM NEC POT obt9  Giovanni
1  Lia Milliner                       dom nec        3  Giovanni
1  Primo Giovanni                     domnec pot     4  Giovanni
1  Raphaela Giovanni                  DOM NEC pot pre6  Giovanni
4  Tupdog                             POT VIS        1  Gargoyle

Library: (80 cards)
——————-
Master (20 cards)
1  Barrens, The
2  Blood Doll
1  Dis Pater
1  Heidelberg Castle, Germany
1  Necromancy
3  Path of Bone, The
1  Path of Lilith, The
1  Powerbase: Cape Verde
1  Rack, The
4  Vessel
2  Villein
1  WMRH Talk Radio
1  Wall Street Night, Financial Newspaper

Action (11 cards)
2  Chair of Hades
6  Govern the Unaligned
1  Haunt
1  Pandora`s Whisper
1  Summon Soul

Action Modifier (14 cards)
5  Call of the Hungry Dead
2  Conditioning
1  Foreshadowing Destruction
5  Transfusion
1  Trochomancy

Reaction (13 cards)
6  Deflection
1  Fillip
6  On the Qui Vive

Combat (8 cards)
2  Mercy for Seth
6  Spiritual Intervention

Ally (1 cards)
1  Leonardo, Mortician

Retainer (2 cards)
2  Masquer (Wraith)

Equipment (2 cards)
1  Gran Madre di Dio, Italy
1  Sargon Fragment, The

Combo (9 cards)
3  Promise of 1528
6  Spectral Divination

Not hugely interesting.  Metagamed for Imbued.  Really only delivered on the Promise of 1528 (I’ve already done the Transfusion thing often enough to know how tasty it is).

Deck Name:   110903  AniCelFor  4cl
Created By:  Andrei Puxon

Crypt: (12 cards, Min: 23, Max: 39, Avg: 8)
——————————————-
3  Andrei Puxon                       ani cel chi for5  Ravnos
3  Kostantin                          ANI cel CHI dom FOR9  Ravnos
3  Lucretia                           ANI aus cel for OBF pot10 Nosferatu
3  Quinton McDonnell                  ani cel FOR pro8  Gangrel

Library: (75 cards)
——————-
Master (15 cards)
1  Animalism
1  Barrens, The
4  Blood Doll
1  Celerity
1  Fortitude
1  Giant`s Blood
1  Information Highway
3  Minion Tap
1  Park Hunting Ground
1  Rack, The

Action (2 cards)
2  Restoration

Action Modifier (5 cards)
4  Freak Drive
1  Kiss of Ra, The

Reaction (12 cards)
4  Cats` Guidance
4  Rat`s Warning
4  Wake with Evening`s Freshness

Combat (27 cards)
2  Canine Horde
4  Flash
2  Hidden Strength
2  Indomitability
2  Psyche!
4  Sideslip
2  Skin of Rock
3  Skin of Steel
4  Taste of Vitae
2  Unflinching Persistence

Retainer (9 cards)
1  J. S. Simmons, Esq.
1  Mr. Winthrop
2  Murder of Crows
4  Raven Spy
1  Tasha Morgan

Equipment (5 cards)
4  .44 Magnum
1  Ivory Bow

The J/DS/AH restriction is to fit in better with the Pleasanton crowd that I haven’t played with in ages.  This deck has been entertaining, if really, really slow.

Deck Name:   111210  antiNos Qualifier Perfect
Created By:  Lucian, The Perfect

Crypt: (12 cards, Min: 14, Max: 37, Avg: 6.91)
———————————————-
2  Gustaphe Brunnelle                 obf ANI DOM POT8  Nosferatu
1  Harold Tanner                      ani dom obf POT6  Nosferatu
1  Joseph Cambridge                   ani dom obf POT6  Nosferatu Antitribu
2  Julio Martinez                     ANI DOM nec OBF POT9  Nosferatu Antitribu
1  Lucian                             ANI AUS DOM OBF POT PRE 11 Guruhi
1  Mateusz Gryzbowsky                 ANI OBF POT    8  Nosferatu Antitribu
2  Tarbaby Jack                       dom ser ANI OBF POT8  Nosferatu Antitribu
2  Tupdog                             POT VIS        1  Gargoyle

Library: (80 cards)
——————-
Master (13 cards)
1  Archon Investigation
1  Barrens, The
1  Direct Intervention
1  Dreams of the Sphinx
1  Information Highway
3  Life in the City
1  Nosferatu Kingdom
4  Villein

Action (12 cards)
1  Bum`s Rush
4  Deep Song
4  Govern the Unaligned
1  Harass
1  Preternatural Strength
1  Sense Death

Action Modifier (4 cards)
2  Conditioning
1  Into Thin Air
1  Spying Mission

Reaction (14 cards)
3  Cats` Guidance
1  Confusion of the Eye
4  Deflection
4  On the Qui Vive
1  Redirection
1  Sense the Savage Way

Combat (24 cards)
1  Canine Horde
4  Carrion Crows
1  Drawing Out the Beast
4  Immortal Grapple
2  Slam
4  Taste of Vitae
1  Terror Frenzy
2  Thrown Gate
4  Torn Signpost
1  Vanish from the Mind`s Eye

Ally (3 cards)
1  Carlton Van Wyk (Hunter)
1  Mylan Horseed (Goblin)
1  Underbridge Stray

Retainer (1 cards)
1  Mr. Winthrop

Equipment (2 cards)
1  Ivory Bow
1  Seal of Veddartha

Combo (7 cards)
1  Hide the Mind
2  Murmur of the False Will
4  Swallowed by the Night

More wakes.  Made me sad Lucian never tabled.  I’ll have to build more Lucian focused decks.

Deck Name:   110709  Dance, Dance, Revolution
Created By:  Sarah Cobbler

Crypt: (12 cards, Min: 4, Max: 21, Avg: 3.25)
———————————————
4  Anarch Convert                     none           1  Caitiff
1  Brooke                             dom tha        3  Tremere Antitribu
1  Hannigan                           AUS dom THA    5  Tremere Antitribu
1  Ignatius                           aus dom tha    4  Tremere
1  Jing Wei                           dom tha        3  Tremere
1  Kurt Strauss                       aus DOM tha    5  Tremere Antitribu
1  Merrill Molitor                    aus dom THA    5  Tremere
1  Reverend Blackwood                 DOM obf THA    6  Tremere Antitribu
1  Sarah Cobbler                      dom THA        4  Tremere

Library: (75 cards)
——————-
Master (20 cards)
2  Anarch Revolt
1  Barrens, The
4  Blood Doll
1  Dominate
2  Dreams of the Sphinx
1  Path of Lilith, The
1  Powerbase: Montreal
1  Rack, The
1  Rotschreck
5  Smiling Jack, The Anarch
1  Thaumaturgy

Action (7 cards)
5  Constant Revolution
2  Govern the Unaligned

Action Modifier (5 cards)
3  Conditioning
2  Mirror Walk

Reaction (22 cards)
9  Deflection
8  On the Qui Vive
2  Power of All
1  Redirection
2  Scry the Hearthstone

Combat (15 cards)
2  Burst of Sunlight
1  Diversion
1  Walk of Flame
1  Weather Control
10 Wind Dance

Ally (4 cards)
2  Carlton Van Wyk (Hunter)
1  Mylan Horseed (Goblin)
1  Nephandus (Mage)

Retainer (1 cards)
1  Charnas the Imp

Equipment (1 cards)
1  Bowl of Convergence

Will have to change this deck as I want to play it again.  So many things I didn’t see in that game.

Deck Name:   110918  Blessed Resilience
Created By:  Macoute

Crypt: (12 cards, Min: 25, Max: 32, Avg: 7.25)
———————————————-
3  Babalawo Alafin                    ani AUS FOR NEC7  Harbingers of Skulls
3  Macoute                            FOR obf NEC thn6  Samedi
3  Mordechai Ben-Nun                  ANI AUS FOR NEC8  Harbingers of Skulls
3  Morlock                            FOR NEC THN obf8  Samedi

Library: (90 cards)
——————-
Master (26 cards)
4  Blessed Resilience
1  Heidelberg Castle, Germany
4  Life in the City
1  Parthenon, The
1  Path of Lilith, The
6  Storage Annex
6  Villein
3  Wider View

Action (18 cards)
9  Force of Will
1  Possession
5  Rapid Healing
3  Restoration

Action Modifier (27 cards)
4  Call of the Hungry Dead
8  Daring the Dawn
14 Freak Drive
1  Trochomancy

Reaction (14 cards)
7  On the Qui Vive
7  Telepathic Misdirection

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

Combo (4 cards)
4  Spectral Divination

Man, I love the crypt for this deck – got the perfect draw of one of each, by the way, in that game.  Dennis strongly suggested adding about three Trochomancy.  There’s actually a lot of tweaks I could make now that I realize it’s not quite as kamikaze as I expected.  Still have won every game I’ve ever played playing HoS Force of Will …

Deck Name:   111119  Josef`s Army
Created By:  Toby

Crypt: (15 cards, Min: 4, Max: 32, Avg: 4.46)
———————————————
4  Anarch Convert                     none           1  Caitiff
1  Beetleman                          obf ANI        4  Nosferatu
1  Foureyes                           obf pot        3  Nosferatu
2  Jeremy Wix Wyzchovsky              ani obf pot    5  Nosferatu
2  Josef von Bauren                   cel ANI DEM OBF POT11 Nosferatu
1  Petra                              aus ANI OBF    5  Nosferatu
1  Ruxandra                           ani aus OBF    5  Nosferatu
1  Slag                               ani obf pot    4  Nosferatu
2  Toby                               ani obf pre    5  Nosferatu

Library: (75 cards)
——————-
Master (20 cards)
1  Barrens, The
4  Blood Doll
1  Dreams of the Sphinx
1  Heidelberg Castle, Germany
1  Labyrinth, The
2  Obfuscate
1  Path of Lilith, The
3  Perfectionist
4  Villein
2  Wider View

Action (9 cards)
4  Computer Hacking
1  Conceal
4  Kindred Intelligence

Action Modifier (16 cards)
4  Cloak the Gathering
2  Elder Impersonation
2  Faceless Night
1  Leverage
1  Monkey Wrench
4  Spying Mission
2  Veil the Legions

Reaction (12 cards)
4  Confusion of the Eye
2  Delaying Tactics
4  On the Qui Vive
2  Wake with Evening`s Freshness

Combat (8 cards)
4  Dodge
4  No Trace

Ally (1 cards)
1  Mylan Horseed (Goblin)

Retainer (3 cards)
1  J. S. Simmons, Esq.
1  Robert Carter
1  Tasha Morgan

Equipment (1 cards)
1  Camera Phone

Event (1 cards)
1  Scourge of the Enochians

Combo (4 cards)
4  Swallowed by the Night

Have already decided to cut two of the crypt.  I never gain advantage from playing 15.  I also identified the need for Fragment of the Book of Nod after the first time I played it, but I haven’t cared enough to make the change.  After all, I never get blocked, so I discard stealth constantly.

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