Challenge 4 – Zayyat


I have always wanted to make at least semi-workable deck around Zayyat, the Sandstorm, but i always failed.
Any ideas?


This is both a good challenge and a bad one.  The good is that I think it’s a more challenging, open-ended challenge that can lead down some interesting roads.  For instance, the Saulot/Uriel deck only had so many ways to go and still be doing the Vitae Block/Blissful Agony thing.  The problem is that a lot of options of similar worthiness means not knowing which one to go with.

Back when !Salubri had nothing going on, I built !Salubri Vote.  People would say, “You can make a better deck with vampires with presence.”  But, that misses the point.  When you have no good options, it doesn’t matter what option you go with.  They couldn’t do anything well, so might as well do vote, leveraging their Sabbatness.  I got tired of !Salubri vote, which, by the way, Josh Duffin came in second in a tournament with and which I played on day two of the North American Championships when they were in Los Angeles.  I became more interested in !Salubri stealth bleed, though, by this point, LoB had been published.

Anyway, the challenge I face with Zayyat is that things you could do make just as much or more sense without Zayyat or with him as filler.  You could purely superstar him, but I think you end up with some pretty janky efforts trying to do too much with him.  For some of my ideas, can read the May 10 post that started this series.

Here is what I came up with as one possibility for trying to leverage as much of what he has going on as possible while still being functional:

Deck Name:   Challenge 4 – Zayyat

Crypt: (12 cards, Min: 31, Max: 40, Avg: 8.83)
3  Aksinya Daclau                     cel tha ANI FOR PRE PRO9  Gangrel Antitribu
1  Danielle Diron                     chi for ANI PRO7  Gangrel
3  Nadima                             ani aus FOR PRO SER8  Gangrel
1  Randall                            ANI AUS FOR PRO8  Gangrel
1  Xaviar                             ANI aus cel FOR pot PRO10 Gangrel
3  Zayyat                             aus qui tha ANI FOR PRO10 Gangrel

Library: (80 cards)
Master (24 cards)
1  Barrens, The
5  Blood Doll
1  Dreams of the Sphinx
1  Effective Management
1  Fortschritt Library
1  Giant`s Blood
2  Heidelberg Castle, Germany
2  Information Highway
2  Parthenon, The
2  Powerbase: Rome
1  Rack, The
2  Vessel
3  Zillah`s Valley

Action (8 cards)
8  Loki`s Gift

Action Modifier (14 cards)
4  Bribes
10 Freak Drive

Political Action (12 cards)
2  Banishment
2  Kine Resources Contested
1  Neonate Breach
5  Reckless Agitation
2  Rumors of Gehenna

Reaction (9 cards)
3  Cats` Guidance
1  Eluding the Arms of Morpheus
4  On the Qui Vive
1  Rat`s Warning

Combat (9 cards)
4  Earth Meld
5  Form of Mist

Equipment (1 cards)
1  Aaron`s Feeding Razor

Event (3 cards)
1  Break the Code
1  Nightmares upon Nightmares
1  Rise of the Nephtali

So, a much stronger hunt angle could be done with either Sabbatness (The Hungry Coyote, Harvest Rites) or anarchdom (The Anarch Free Press, Hospital Food), but it’s jumping through a bunch of hoops, actually less so to go Sabbat (Into the Fire is something I’ve done before to open up Sabbat voting resources).  If Zayyat and Ariadne could be played together, would try that.

The event angle is prayerish, but it makes the deck more interesting.  The key to this deck, not having played it, seems to be to survive with Aksinya and Nadima (the latter not being as reliable) while trying to give a bunch of blood to Zayyat or whoever is Recklessly Agitating.  It’s in my style (paltry offense), which may not appeal to others, but that can be fixed with more vote or maybe some bleed to mix things up.  Legendary Vampire is another way to up offense, but I’ve never had good feelings with LV.

The thing is, someone could do all sorts of other modules to gain blood, like Renewed Vigor or Fifth Tradition.  The last almost sounds good, until you start questioning why Zayyat is in your P/J deck.  This is just something I’d like to try; I’m sure it needs at least some tweaking, probably to make hunting pay off more.  It does use the Powerbase: Rome vote lock module that has been historically way underplayed (key element in !Salubri Vote, of course).  It does use Aksinya, who seems to get underplayed in non-Girly decks.  It is interesting what sort of titled Gangrel do exist in this grouping.

There are two TWDs according to Secret Library with Zayyat, but one is really an Omaya deck and the other is a Dominate deck, so I don’t see him being necessary to either.

5 Responses to Challenge 4 – Zayyat

  1. Pendargon says:

    I kinda dig where you are going with this, especially with the hunts and loki’s gift and voting. I think some perfectionists should find way in there, especially with 10 freak drives.

    Also, maybe a few magic of the smiths ( to capitalise on that inferior tha) to find that feeding razor, or maybe some other neat equipments, like palatial estate, cooler, or maybe even helicopter?

    Also, maybe ingrid rossler, she is titled, and her special is good with Zayyat if you have to convert his blood to pool, plus she opens up pappilon option for him ?

    Just tossing some random ideas here

    • iclee says:

      I agree with the Perfectionists. I’m less sanguine about adding pool-costing cards, though I’m sure there’s some equipment I might have missed that would make sense. On the other hand, forcing some Thaum in might be a different build, with a different crypt. I’d be inclined to try to get Jacob and Fakir in such a deck, probably with a Fee Stake angle.

      The problem I have with going Ingrid is that group 2/3 very much lends itself to Stanislava and taking the focus off of Zayyat. Sure, there’s a titled Gangrel deck out of 2/3 with Zayyat and Xaviar, but it could pretty easily lose both or play them as filler and graft Dominate, which is dull. I find Randall amusing for his vote and Aksinya is … Aksinya.

  2. Azel says:

    What do you think of Grooming the Protege + Zayyat and independent Gangrel vote. With Reckless and Free State Rants could be interesting. FSR lowered blood with agg strikes, though fun, would likely be the trap option.

    Though the trap option might be fun. FSR + Anathema + Gangrel ANI intercept/crows. Too combat intensive to be vote serious, but possibly entertaining.

    • iclee says:

      He already has a Grooming effect, that’s card slots for redundancy.

      Anathema and why am I playing Zayyat when any of the Gangrel who can play Anathema are just as good in combat?

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