Vagabond Decks

April 29, 2013


One would think that given that games such as chess or bridge, which have very limited variety (no matter how many combinations of moves or cards are actually possible), would feel stale long before a customizable card game ever would.

Yet, CCGs have to fight against staleness where games with far fewer components continue to enthrall folks.

As someone not clamoring for more V:TES sets, it’s incumbent upon me to show that the game has plenty of variety as is.

So, here are a few cards I want to play with:


This was a card that people tried to think of ideas for when new and, then, seemed to have ignored in the last decade.  The key to Rave is, of course, as I’ve decided today, Vagabond Mystic.

Vagabond Mystic is a minion that Raves for more than it costs.  That it’s unique actually provides an angle, a Khazar’s Diary angle.  Alternatively or, for the more ambitious, additionally, we can Rave some Bimas, Underbridge Strays, Hexapeds, or whatever.

Sure, it’s action intensive.  But, actions that burn your own minions are always full of win.

Thrones Crumble

While Fata Amria gets way more grief than it should given the plethora of cards printed with way too much text and while Imposing Phantasm is a card I’ve enjoyed playing with and may play with again, I’ve been meaning to play with Thrones Crumble for quite some time.

Who hates titled vampires more than me?  Somebody, I’m sure.  In the meantime, die stupid fatties, die.  Or, at least, burn a couple of blood.

Sure, it’s not actually that harmful, and you may hit “all bloodlines, all the time” day.  The important thing is that you get to annoy boring vampires.  And, you can always run some votes to give vamps titles so that you can mess with them … I think that’s the key to lots of VPs.


Once upon a time, people (myself included) built horrible decks around Lapse.  Fast forward many years and Trujah decks finally became playable.

But, does anyone care about Lapse, anymore?  A little.

All you need is to Clan Impersonate a Trujah to Tzimisce, then Sanguine Instruct Dragos in Temporis, and that’s totally less effort than relying on Taste of Vitae and Shalmath with an Aaron’s Feeding Razor (Clan Impersonated to Malkavian for obvious reasons) to have enough blood for this card.

No, let’s be serious.  It’s no longer about Lapse decks.  It’s all about casual Lapse for your Ankara + big honking gun, tooled up Trujah (through Summon History) deck.  Why not?  With AUS, there’s nothing Trujah decks can’t manage to be reasonably functional at (as long as it involves bouncing bleeds).

Sure, it’s one less slot that would probably be Outside the Hourglass, but c’mon, these days everyone runs Skin of Rock to counter that trite play.

Baltimore Purge

Casual Purge is something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time.  The difficulty is that supporting casual Purge often leads to putting in too many cards to leverage Purge (Freak Drive, Graverobbing, etc.), which defeats the purpose.

In the realm of Lasombra, which has nothing really to do with casual Purge, I had an amusing idea recently, but even that turned out to be less focused than I wanted.

I do know what vampire will be key to a Purge deck.  I should see what else I can do with her that wouldn’t be boring.

Sure, every deck is better with random torporation, but is it really worth doing Ravnos Purge?

Banshee Ironwail

You would think this would be easy.  But, I’ve been trying to get this into a deck interesting enough to play forever.  Unique effects just don’t work that well for me – I’m into interchangeability of my cards.

This would be funny on someone like Kite.  Can Sibyl’s Tongue for it.  Can defend against it easily enough if stolen.

Sure, it’s a melee weapon and melee weapon combat is often atrocious (Weighted Walking Stick being the exception).  But, that’s why you give Kite a Spike-Thrower as well because Spike-Thrower is totally underrated.

Brick Laying

I actually had to look up the text.  I dismissed it long ago, as I’m no fan of younger clauses and didn’t even remember that it had the tap effect.

So, you got to be old.  You probably want a reason to tap folks.  Sounds like a casual play for an Inner Circle vamp.  Just another thing for Hardestadt to do.  Though, also kind of funny for Hazimel, maybe even Appolonius and friends (Helena, Natasha).

Sure, it isn’t Horseshoes.  But, it can also go into a Brick-theme deck.

Descent into Darkness

Spend too much time trying to use this card to get around scarce penalties.  Should be using this card in a horde deck for reduced hordeness.

After all, with Lilith’s Blessing no longer being a card choice for my decks, I need to get blood gain somewhere.  Way to get around Fame, which is one of two master cards I should concern myself more with (which really just means running more Sudden Reversals in decks, as boring as that will get).

Sure, it requires Obtenebration, and I already have ideas for Lasombra decks.  But, it gives Laecanus something useful to do.

Next time (I feel like continuing this subject), more recent sets.


It Was The Best Of Times, It Was The Rest Of Times

April 22, 2013

As mentioned, we had a couple of V:TES tournaments this past weekend.  At times, we’ve had more events in Berkeley, at times, less.  Mark Jasper organized the two tournaments and we can hope for more in the future.

But, before getting into V:TES, my weekend was complicated by also running my RPG campaign Saturday morning.  Since our RPG group was all going to go to the tournaments and the Saturday event was at 5PM, we decided to have our “monthly” FSTH (Feng Shui Tu Huo … spin on Feng Shui RPG, the primary basis for the campaign) session in the morning and all head out at the same time to Berkeley.  I’m sure, at some point, I’ll spend more time speaking about the FSTH campaign.  But, from a logistics standpoint, the main impacts were:  had to build decks Friday night rather than last minute, to leave last minute for RPG planning; encouraged to produce a compact session to avoid being in the middle of something and then have to jump up and leave; just made the weekend more involved, in general.

Back to V:TES.  We all get up to Berkeley with plenty of time, taking two cars as the others were all going to crash up there, with only my commuting the hour’s drive back and forth.  I do feel rather drained, which might have been good – mellower.

I built three possible tournament decks Friday night.  Decided to go with the most convoluted one, not having taken to heart the lesson from a tournament years ago where I realized that playing a convoluted deck when not yet in mental shape to make decisions was a bad idea.

We had 17 players, 2+F.

Round 1

Rick (!Nos and Carlotta Horseshoes) -> Joel (HoS w/ Animalism) -> Ian (For Sex*) -> Eric (Aus/Pre bleed)

*  Not my usual method of naming decks.  It will make more sense when I get to round two.

Rick Famed a Harbinger.  Rick tried to annoy the Famed one.  Joel blocked Horseshoes and came out ahead in combats with Mercy for Seth a couple of times on Carlotta, Dead Hand, Crows, and whatever.  I brought out Augustus Giovanni.  Having an Obedience in hand, I decide to block Joel’s Babalawo?, and Augustus Kisses Ra.  As I said to folks, a lot of mistakes don’t matter in the game, getting washed away in the ebb and tide of the game, but the ones that tend to matter the most are at the beginning and when going for a VP.  This was not good.  Augustus hung out in torpor for a while, as I didn’t trust Mordechai not to block him leaving torpor.  I eventually get Sarrasine up.  Rick eventually rescues Augustus.

Meanwhile, Eric has no pressure, so he just keeps bringing out dudes, getting Remilliard, Delilah Easton, Jost, and Sheila.  Rick has no intercept, so Jost can walk right past him.  Eric has a lot of combat ends to ignore combats.  I have strange hands to where I couldn’t do much.  Eric did block some votes.  I was getting Slaughterhoused by Joel, while playing various cards to survive Trochomancy bleeds, accelerating my mill rate.  When Rick got ousted, Joel stopped bothering me to put pressure on Eric.  Eric had 19 pool, I bled for one, reducing him to 18, and he was scared.  Joel had to fend off a lot of minions.  Eric had to worry about getting beaten down in combat with Joel.  I needed more dudes, so I kept transferring to go low on pool, with Lille Haake joining the team, giving me that precious +1 bleeder against Eric … as Archons got Augustus when he Trochomancyed.  Started working on Eze.

I started to stabilize, while Joel ran into issues with being outminioned.  Because my library was dissipating, I had no real incentive to use up offensive cards, and Joel wasn’t bleeding me enough to use bounce, so I basically just went with base bleeds against Eric.  Some got bounced, making Joel’s game harder as he had little pool, mostly from Sheila Daring the Dawn bigger bleeds past Joel.  Finally, Eric got through, at a great time for me as Joel was about to Slaughterhouse my last few cards.  However, in pushing through Rick and Joel, Eric had gotten beaten down a good amount, so I wasn’t terribly worried about his minions, and his pool wasn’t ridiculous.  With a few remaining votes and whatnot, Lille did what she always does and bled my prey out for the 2/2 split.

Round 2

Henri (Elimelech BH) -> Ian -> Rick -> Andy (Scout & Friends) -> Brandon (Not Malk94)

Everyone knew what deck Brandon was playing, so we knew Henri was dead.  Brandon’s deck was Malk94 with a Khabar: Glory angle.  I brought out Lille and planned for the inevitable.  I had a lot of Villeins, early, so I wasn’t in bad shape, but I did make a big mistake not Telepathic Countering Elimelech bleeding for 2, as I should have been cycling to try to get votes that could bloat Henri.  Rick and Andy exchanged damage-dealing actions (Horseshoes, Shattering Crescendo) before calling a truce to deal with the menace.  Henri died quickly, but Andy got some Shattering going on Brandon, and I got a Banishment on Didi, who, being Famed, wasn’t all that quick to pop back out.

I mostly ignored Rick.  But, my bloating kicked in hardcore.  I had Eze, Kahina, Lille out when I Reckless Agitationed Rick and finished him with Lille, the smiter of evil.  I had Forestal out as well and 38 pool when I started working on Augustus, who popped out as my fifth vampire, leaving me at 23 pool, at the time.  Andy and Brandon tried to coordinate, but I had a good amount of bleed defense, bloat, and vote superiority to pretty much do whatever, which eventually caused Brandon to transfer out.

So, why For Sex as a deck name?  I had Eze, Kahina, Lille, and Forestal out … before forming Voltron (Augustus).


Ended up top seed, as a bit of a surprise.  Mark and Robert had no options.  Nick inserted as Mark’s prey.  Brandon was going to insert as Robert’s prey but changed his mind and inserted as Robert’s predator.  If he had gone with his first option, I would have been Mark’s prey, easily, figuring that I would have some time to marshall my bloat and bounce.  With his actual choice, I still went as Mark’s prey, figuring Nick might ignore me as I’d mostly ignore him and being least afraid of Mark as my predator, even though I didn’t have a good idea what his or Nick’s decks did.


Ian -> Nick (BH Lasombra w/ Purge) -> Brandon -> Robert (Velya War Ghoul) -> Mark (Aus/Pre/Obf vote)

I bring up Kahina with a plan of Eze second.

Because Robert is a good player, he withstood Brandon’s deck.  Actually, Robert got a strong start, with The Unmasking right away.  Mark had Stavros.  Nick had Appius, discarding Graverobbing early, which didn’t inspire confidence in me.  Brandon had Mariel and Badr.  I Banishmented Mariel at full blood, hoping that, if Nick did Purge, he wouldn’t Graverob Mariel.  Robert brought out allies.  Mark Entrancemented Beatrice from Robert.  I Far Masteryed Ossian from Nick, which really didn’t do me a whole lot of good.

Brandon kept trying, but Robert held off with War Ghoul and Asanbonsam coming down.  Mark had an early Carlton, but Robert stole him to oust Mark, who ate a 6 bleed from Brandon that made it to me before I bounced it back, as Mark had brought out Lutz, which was just not acceptable.  I figured Nick would just bounce back to me, but he said he might bounce to Mark as well to prop Robert.

Then, it got heinous.  Robert stole Ossian from me and started beating down my dudes.  Now, I did have tons of pool from a bunch of Villeins, but it meant I had little action impact with Lille, Eze, Kahina.  In fact, the ally menace got to the point where it was everyone in favor of Brandon ousting.  I couldn’t do much with votes to help, the only thing I could do was get Nick to take The Erciyes Fragments from Robert and rescue Mariel.  With The Coven in play, Brandon could still keep firing, but it was Nick doing a Govern/Conditioning bleed coordinated with Brandon’s bounce that had enough stealth to oust Robert.  Nick Purged for the only time with Saul, while I rescued Eze.  Mariel got White Nightsed away while she was napping.  With vote lock and no intercept around me, I could start doing stuff, but Nick could have gotten out of range.

Early in the game, I was choked on offensive votes and decided to pitch Reins of Power.  With time growing short and with Nick’s pool only likely to grow, I have Eze get The Sargon Fragment, untap, get Reins, which nobody tried to block, called Reins with Lille, the smiter of evil.  Rather than have the game end with a double oust, Nick gave Brandon 6 pool, and we fought it out, though it was pretty much over as I had enough pool to withstand what was left of Brandon’s library.  I did stuff.  Brandon bled.  With Roland and Badr up, Roland bled for 4.  I took it.  Badr had Glory and bled for 5.  I Archoned her.  Didi came up, but Brandon had too little deck left and, with little time left, he Pentexed me ineffectually and conceded at 1 pool, 40 seconds before time would have run out.

Key play in the game?  After my first Villein, I played another master – Powerbase: Madrid.  It ended the game in the same state as it had been four turns after I played it – full of counters and unused.  … I have no vampires that can natively use it.  Other amusing things were to double superior Trochomancy bleed Brandon in the endgame, discarding Walk of Flame in the endgame just to show my l33t deckbuilding skills, and probably something I’m forgetting.

Drive home.  Next day, drive back.

Sunday, we have the second tournament organized by Mark and run at Eudemonia.  I don’t bother building new decks in the morning, as I know what I want to play.

15 players.

Round 1

Brandon (Hektor eats the world) -> Edward (Ventrue vote/bleed) -> Robert (Nocturns Shadow Twin) -> Ian (Samedi intercept/combat) -> Cory (Spider-Killer Aus/Chi)

I thought my Groaning Corpse deck would be more fun than it turned out.  I knew Robert as my predator was going to be bad as our play style tempos are very different, i.e. his deck would be too fast for my deck.  Robert’s Lucy got the Heart of Nizchetus.  Edward twice tried to Hostile Takeover her, costing Robert 9 pool in total.  Unfortunately, my intercept required too much tool up, and the combination of action advantage and stealth meant I couldn’t impact Robert at all.

Cory had no game.  Brandon feared something like Sensory Deprivation, so Spider-Killer got eaten right away.  Salbatore didn’t last much longer, though he did come out first.  Edward got hit from both directions, Shadow Twins and some intercept one way, Hektor the other.  My Baroque got Famed and Shadow Twinned into torpor a couple of times.  Edward’s ability to go forward declined, so it was very much oriented to an endgame of Brandon (no predator) and Robert, with Robert having a decided advantage.  There was a key point where Brandon called a KRC that a new S-K blocked that could have done enough damage to Robert that, if Brandon let Edward live a turn, Edward could have gotten a three bleed through with his last vampire and ousted Robert, which would have been awesome for me and better for Brandon.  At 2 pool, with both Pentex and Fame gone, I could have recovered, and I didn’t fear Brandon’s deck at all.

But, Robert lived, and I didn’t, and Robert won the endgame.  For me, it was just a really boring game, with no ability to play combat cards and taking virtually no actions.

Round 2

Ian -> Rick (Luna and Anu) -> Conner (Guruhi high caps) -> Brandon -> Andy (Cybele)

Closer.  But, still not close enough.  I really wanted to get into fights with Hektor or the like, but no, both rushy decks were across the table.  This game, if I didn’t need VPs to make the finals, would have just timed out with no ousts.  I couldn’t do anything to my prey with only two vampires and with his deck predicated upon bouncing and boosting with Anu.  My grandprey stabilized after I helped him stop a bleed when he was at 5 by burning a Masquer.  Brandon punked his predator.  Andy didn’t bring out Cybele until he had a skill card and Soul Gem.

Since I needed a path to victory and nothing had progressed that far after about an hour, I stole Montreal from my grandprey and brought a third dude and just kept bleeding, which, of course, just ousted my grandprey.  Bringing out a third vampire meant my pool was low enough to be threatened by The Great Beast and Annazir.  Brandon was worried about Rick.  Rick had absurds amount of pool as he didn’t bother with a third minion until he lost Luna to Archons and Anu to beatdown.  I got ousted.  The game sped up dramatically and Rick cleaned up.

The finals had:

David (DoC vote/bleed) -> Rick -> Robert -> Mark (Tzimisce fatties) -> Nick (Baali vote)

Or, something like that, as I didn’t really care.  Though, Nick, Robert, and Mark did make both finals, which is an achievement.  David won by getting the only oust when Nick was crosstabled by Robert’s Shadow Twins to stop Nick from ousting David, but otherwise, I don’t have a great idea what happened.

Pick up game was going on where Cory borrowed a deck from me.  It played very strangely, but it was a good situation for him, except time ran out.

I missed out on eating at any of the places I like in Berkeley both because the Saturday tourney was at a strange time (most, historically, started in the morning or early afternoon, leaving dinner an easy thing to do afterwards) and because everyone really needed to get home after the Sunday tourney.  And, I thought my Samedi deck would be more fun – not starting seated next to Brandon was unfortunate for having wacky stuff happen and my drawing a paltry number of wakes throughout the tournament was tiresome.  But, it was nice to win the Saturday tournament with the Powerbase: Madrid deck.

Are We Game?

April 15, 2013

Played casual V:TES for the first time in a long time yesterday.  This coming weekend, couple of tournaments.  Don’t know if any of the decks that saw play yesterday will see tournament play, but I don’t feel compelling reasons to do my usual write ups of games, where I offer tidbits about each person’s position.  Instead, I think I’ll go with things from a very myselfishness view.

Game 1:

I only built one new deck yesterday morning – allergy season might be hitting me or it may just have been poor allergy management that required me to take Benadryl and take a nap in the morning to abate symptoms.  I’m sort of on a key vampire kick.  I’m not into superstar decks, but I don’t mind having a preferred minion deck.  Was doing some searches when Louhi showed up in a list.  Not terribly surprising, since she shows up on a lot of lists.

I considered different discipline combos … and ended up running into the usual problem with trying to match to a fattie of having a whole crypt of fatties where the identity of the deck gets lost.  I had to keep focused on what my goal was – Louhi plus backups.  Well, it didn’t take me long to figure out what the deck philosophy would be – Louhi and Seeds of Corruption.  Shouldn’t take too long to figure out the idea was to mess with predator actions with her special and mess with prey actions with Seeds of “Confusion”.

THA/Obf was reasonable for bonus stealth.  Dementation was a question.  AUS, of course, for defense.  Eventually decided to run some Dementation, which ended up more than planned when I started adding cards.

So, I go third.  I have no Louhi, having two Paul Cordwood, Preston Varrick, and MacAlister Marshall.  I have three Wider Views in the deck to deal, but I go into my usual mode of playing as few cards as possible, so I cycle virtually nothing.  Paul gets a Dementation skill card.  Preston gets a Blood Doll.  With Tzimisce behind me, I keep combat cards in hand.  I drop a Seeds of Corruption on my prey’s Scout Youngwood.  My predator removes it.  I never mount any sort of offense, even after bringing up a Louhi.  My grandprey gets destroyed in combat against my grandpredator’s Magazine deck, cratering the other side of the table for an easy game for my prey, though we time out before my prey can get two VPs.  Predator’s Vampiric Diseases slowed things down.  I did nuke my prey’s Carlton and Muddled with Bloods of Sandman.

Why bother writing up sessions?

There’s always some value in reminding people that we play.  It’s often amusing, at least to me, what happens in games and sharing that amusement is a reason to exist.  For instance, how often do you see two Magazines on a Desert Eagle?  How often do you lose two allies in one turn to Bloods of Sandman?

But, there can often be philosophical questions that play sessions bring out or exemplify.  One thing I’ve been struggling with is trying to balance my decks better between offense and defense.  Too often, someone plays one of my decks and there’s no forward pressure at all.  That makes for long games where little of import occurs.  In general, pool damage stuff is the last thing I add to a deck, so there’s often not room for a good payload.  The Magazine deck (yes, one of my decks) and my Seeds of “Complication” deck both exhibited the problem of poor forwardness.  Even Seeds, which is a forward action, doesn’t necessarily pressure one’s prey.  Might just stop taking actions or go backwards.

I will try the Louhi deck again because it did get a strange draw – if it were just amusing but ineffectual, it wouldn’t be worth playing again, at least not without changes.  But, I do need to push offense more because it disrupts things for the rest of the table when a deck doesn’t go forward in any meaningful way.

Game 2:

I play my Dive into Madness/Freak Drive deck for a second time.  First time I played it, it was ineffectual.  This game was largely determined by my grandpredator playing Dom/Obf.  My predator’s Daughters had no hope of survival.  I never got a third dude in play with AUS, having two Villeins Suddened.  I did oust my prey with some bounce help, and I did have an avenue to winning, but I just couldn’t bloat enough or bounce enough to get a second VP and see what would happen in the endgame.  Though, the endgame wouldn’t have been that great for me as my Anatole just wasn’t going to hold down the fort to race.

This deck, too, has forward problems even though the deck was built around Dive.  For some reason, I just don’t get my permableed going fast enough, which might be a card quantity issue.

Game 3:

Besides building one deck before play, I did modify my old tournament winning Ravnos deck – my choice for my worst tournament winning deck.  I took out all of the Sensory Overload nonsense and dropped the Nightmare Curse angle, adding in stealth for a deck that had virtually none … to go with its copious amounts of zero-stealth actions.

The four other decks at the table had no interest in blocking stuff or in combat.  So, with only a few Drabas and no intercept, all I could do was bleed forward and choke on combat cards.  I actually did have decent offense for a change, having four dudes and a Laptop.  And, though I had to suck multiple bleeds of three from my grandpredator, I wasn’t seriously in danger of falling.  No, the game was kind of mindless in that my prey just went forward for tons of pool damage, eventually overwhelming my grandprey’s bloat, then finishing off my grandpredator before he could get 6 pool.  My prey easily got the third VP from my pool-depleted predator, and that was that.

This game brings up a different philosophical concept:  decks that don’t interact can make for very uninteresting games.  Sure, my prey’s vote deck was a vote deck, except no one brought out a titled vampire all game nor had a Delaying Tactics (crummy interaction, but arguably interactive).  Voting often ends up being a far less interactive activity in the game than bleed, though only my predator had bounce, and that was Lost in Translation!!  Really, this was all left-leaning decks with bloat, except for mine.  And, I neither drew an intercept card nor a wake all game.

There is a reason I make more of an effort to play decks with intercept, as there are just too many decks around with none, leading to people playing something much too close to multiplayer solitaire.  I’m no fan of how combat “works” in the game because it has always had a problem with combat typically being one of these three scenarios:  nothing happens; one minion nuked; both minions nuked.  But, actions do need to get blocked sometimes to make the game come down to more than just whether people drew better cards or more than just master card plays.


April 8, 2013

So, for those who read the forums, there’s a thread on banning cards to stimulate a stale environment.  I don’t have any great desire to rehash comments made there, but I did want to take a look at one of my proposals.

I despise unique* promo cards, in case anyone didn’t already know.  I despise them for fairness reasons, but I also believe that they don’t actually promote the games they are printed for.

*  Unique does not mean the keyword, which should be obvious, but means any promo card that has not also been printed normally within one or more sets.

I have run across too many situations where distribution or power level have been problems.  Where normally published cards are fair to the extent that someone who can buy product can buy as much or as little product as they want, regardless as to how balanced the cards may be, unique promo cards are rarely that egalitarian (and don’t actually make sense if they are).

Most unique promos suck, so why bitch about the concept?  Can just make them all suck.  But, then, in what way did they promote the game?  Why bother in the first place?

On the other hand, I’m a huge fan of promo cards that are alternative versions of cards available through normal channels.  Alternate art, all art, no art, foil, hologram, autographed – all the correct way to do promo cards, even if it’s questionable whether they promote the games, either.

Anyway, enough about why I would be good with banning promos.  What about the impact such would have?

I’m including, as a rather major by the way, the 10th Anniversary new cards.  I’m not sure I’d call the 10th sets a normal channel, but even if one considers them fairly available, the cards have the typical traits that unique promos do.  Only going to note ones that I find interesting to comment upon.


Mariana Gilbert

Be a bit lazy here and not create links for these cards, generally figure people already have a good idea what they do.

Early days of exactly the sort of distribution issues I find offensive.  Anyway, 4-cap with PRE was the hotness back in the day – I would argue that Gideon Fontaine was one of the best vampires in the game up until at least Sabbat War.  Toreador tends to be a good clan to be, especially with the right Aires.

Impact wouldn’t be what it once was as group 1 has increasingly been pushed out, outside of Anson and friends.

Victor Pelletier

I way underplay “Victory Point”.  But, then, he slots in the sort of decks I don’t tend to have much interest in.  Impact should be felt as he’s just so much better than he should be.

Kisha Bhimji

One would think I would play her all of the time.  AUS/obf, 5-cap who can hunt without penalty slots into so many of my sort of decks.  Probably has too many votes for me, though.

Anyway, minimal impact.

Alan Sovereign (adv)

I’m sure I have a few decklists with him around, but I never get around to it.  Special is the sort of special I like to see, but it’s easy enough to go in a different direction to get expensive equipment in play, like Alastor.  Reasonable midcap without special.  Might be missed but not by that many.

Genina, The Red Poet

I keep putting her in decks (some of which see play).  I keep being unimpressed.  Just always sounds better on paper than in practice.  Specialized role where I’d put her about Alan Sovereign on the impact meter.

Yazid Tamari (adv)

Basic is just better.  Merging is just not worth the effort.  Minimal impact.

Lambach (adv)

Sounds like he serves a purpose.  Cool looking card.  Such a ridiculous downgrade from basic that every time I go to build a deck where he’d make sense, he wouldn’t make sense.  For everyone else into the Legion decks or whatever, really okay if he isn’t playable in tournaments.

Hannibal (adv)

Such a contrast to Lambach.  This dude is good.  Almost surprised he doesn’t see more play.  But, he came out so late, long after people seemed to be losing interest in group 2.  Seen/built very few decks with him to where I doubt he would be missed.


The obvious impact player(s) among promo vampires.  Would definitely be missed for both Nergal decks and “oh, I also play Nergal” decks.  But, I don’t see that as such a great loss considering how many decks of such I’ve seen.  May sound ironic.  If he was new, it would be more of a loss as there are so many things he can be used for.  But, he’s not new.  Most things have already been done.


Carlton van Wyk (Hunter)

Octa-libra, baby!  With Carlton gone, people can go back to diablerie as a legitimate tactic/strategy.  What?!?  What do you mean that people still diablerize?

Massive impact, even though it does seem like he gets underplayed, maybe because he’s so hard to get these days.


Solves part of the problem with Ashur Tablets.  But, really, this card should see way more play even without Tablets.  Rather significant impact, especially for Giovanni.  Not shedding tears – can’t imagine who thought this was a good mechanic as a generic master card.


All the rage these days with so many ways to only die to Carlton and cards no one plays, e.g. Sixth Tradition.  Somewhat substitutable but would be missed.

Anthelios, the Red Star

Perfect example of how bad ideas tend to appear more often in promo cards than in normal cards.  I’d be happy if all Events went away as I see them being a greater ruin on the game than Imbued.  As much as I love me allies, there’s no justification for the power of The Unmasking.

Anyway, Anthelios.  Would be missed far more in other regions than ours but would be missed quite a bit.

Codex of the Edenic Groundskeepers

I find it funny how much this sees play.  It is sneaky good even when not just used as a “don’t tap out or I murder you” threat on some dork.  But, a great loss?  No.  Bleed is just so easily come by.

The Erciyes Fragments

I would be so happy to see cards like this go away.  Way underplayed power card.  I just don’t even bother, as it feels like cheating.  I also quite hate cards that people can steal as it takes away from all of the hunting I want to do.

Major impact, but probably highly uneven as some folks just don’t seem to embrace it as a good stuff card.

Gran Madre di Dio, Italy

Another way underplayed card, though my interest is mostly in playing it to prevent someone else from doing so as it’s absurdly obnoxious.  Terrible design typical of promo cards.  Would expect little impact, as most don’t bother running it.

House of Sorrow

Johnnies (combo-oriented players) will miss this much.

Lilith’s Blessing

We played at my house not real long ago.  We played something like four games.  The only game I didn’t play LB on the first turn was the last one and that was because LB couldn’t be in my Lords of the Night only deck.

What I find scary is that people seem to underrate this card, obsessing over using it with Villein when it naturally combos with Blood Dolls, Heidelberg, Gather, babymaker cards, etc.  And, even if you don’t combo it, it provides late game recovery, which is the main reason I run it (besides enjoying the skill card aspect).

Wall Street Night, Financial Newspaper

My list of cards to comment upon aren’t all of the best cards or most played cards or whatever, though I think I noted better cards for the most part.  The thing about WSN,FN is that I’ve gotten to playing this card a lot more than other intercept locations because bleed (and, to a lesser extent, directed actions in general due to Eyes of Argus, Steadfastness, et al) is not something my decks have glaring weaknesses against.  My problem these days is more often stopping votes and tool up actions.

Going, going, …

I’m sure others have their favorites or those cards they despise seeing at tables.  I hope that my comments help put into context some of my thinking about the impact of banning all unique promos.