Bad Deck, Bad Deck, What …

Well, you know it had to come to pass.  There I was putting together my last post and realized I won a tournament with Lucubratio and Nickolai, The Survivor.  I had no recollection they made the crypt of that vote deck.  Maybe, Kevin was right to call that the worst deck in the TWDA.  Except, he was wrong then and wrong … again.

I’ve had much worst.

I’m in this funny position.  I may not Dominate play like the Hughs or Robs or Bens or Brians or whoever of the world.  But, I have a sample size to laugh hysterically at.

Okay, so worst to less worst of my 12 TWDs.  Guidelines.  Can’t say what would be worst now, that’s not fair.  There’s a reason Zip Gun shows up in so many of my decks.  Metagame.  Metagame.  How it performed in the tournament it performed in is critical.  Still, any one event is rather random, so there is some element of trying to understand just how putrid something is.


Of Ghastly Dreams

Starting out with a bitter fight for most awful.  This is a toughie, mes amis.  But, where Evanescent “earned” its way into the finals with maybe a GW or something, this deck got into the finals on a roll off.

Contrary to what some locals suggest, Ravnos are the bomb.  They are immune to combat, unblockable, can theoretically block anything, rip you apart in combat, bleed like crazy, and Gabrin has Dominate.

Meanwhile, this deck has 6x Sensory Overload and 2x Pseudo-Blindness.  I wanted to think this deck was an intercept combat deck that could bleed at stealth.  I realized it didn’t actually have combat, so even back in the day I called it “cored on intercept”.

It’s a good thing that it’s an intercept deck, as it’s full of zero stealth actions with a mighty eight transient stealth cards.  Maybe, it’s a good thing no one cares about getting Sensory Overloaded.

How did it win?  Winnie Dominate as prey in the finals.  Entire table ganged up to stop the deck from turning the corner, with a key cross table Direct Intervention on Bonding to stop a second oust.  By the time I ousted, the EuroBrujah were spent on defense and pool.



Yes, this deck got a GW.  I was writing up this deck for Courtly Oil, when I … I … stopped understanding the deck.  This is an intercept combat deck, except I forgot to put intercept in it.  Oh, sure, it does some Mytherceria intercept and … uh … one Cat’s Guidance and … uh … one Eyes of the Night.  I still look at the deck list and just assume it had Raven Spies in the deck.  But, it didn’t.

I have basically no comprehension what this deck is expected to do.

I didn’t intend to play this in a tournament.  It just happened to be a built deck when I lacked time to build decks for the SoCal Trek To Glory.  I have a lot of bizarre card choices in decks.  This one just keeps gifting the world (or maybe just me) with the gift of “holy wtf?!?”.

How did it win?  After getting into the finals, the table fell in such a way that only two of us could win.  Brandon (prey) Archon Investigationed Matt’s (predator) Stanislava as he was tired of being bounced to, which gave me enough time to oust Matt before he could get another Stanislava doing annoying stuff.


Chapel Hard By

Tough decision on where this lands.  I put it here because it largely just does its thing.  It’s not hard to oust.  It’s dangerous like any swarm bleed deck is dangerous, but it’s not that dangerous.  It’s the sort of deck that would have been more metagame appropriate back in the day, when Scourge wasn’t around, though people don’t seem to understand how powerful swarm bleed is anymore, so maybe it would have gotten more grief back in the day.

How did this deck win?  Make dudes.  Bloat.  Swarm.  It’s not a complicated deck.  Oh, play Consecration Rites, too, because that’s how you win V:TES.


For Sex

I get the sense this is one of my hardest to understand decks.  After writing this post up, I understand that.  I’m not really sure where this deck falls on the worst to less worst list.  I put it here because it kind of fell into winning.

This deck has so many fun things it could do.  Sure, I discarded Walk of Flame every time, same with Clan Impersonation.  I had no Sabbies in play in the finals when I played a turn one/two Powerbase: Madrid.  But, I did get to Trochomancy in the finals.

A five discipline deck with three Dominate cards – Far Mastery, 2x Obedience.  That’s how you win V:TES.

How did this deck win?  It’s a vote deck.  If you don’t murder vote decks, they can do stupid stuff and win.  Murder vote decks.  Murder them.  They do annoying crap like use The Sargon Fragment to get back Reins of Power which was discarded at the beginning of the game to oust one’s prey.


Thunder Is Impressive

This is a sketchy deck that owned the metagame I wanted to own.  This was another deck that was already built when we went down to LA.  The point was to beat Animalism.  It beat Animalism. I got into combat often enough and layeth the smacketh down often enough.

It’s actually not horrible in that the two main vampires have tremendous synergy, even with my not playing any Obfuscate in the deck.  Actually, because of this deck, I can’t play Earth Control, Earth Meld, or Form of Mist in tournaments, which is both cool and frustrating since Earth Meld just owns the current meta.

The deck always got at least 2 VPs just because it refused to get ousted.  I keep wanting to do 2x Carlton after playing this.

How did this deck win?  It beat up Arika in combat because she sucks at stealthing by Celerity/Protean intercept.  It also didn’t die to Clown Car on the right.


Baali of the Name 1.1

This deck is so much fun to play.  Even Andy, who hates my TWDs when I rebuild them, enjoyed playing this deck.  Why do I justify it being higher on the list than the above (does this sentence make any sense)?  Because it’s just amazingly functional for how stupid it is.  It got me into the finals of a multideck tournament that I won.  I play it in games and it ousts or threatens to oust.

It should be much stronger now than it used to be in terms of what it’s trying to do.  Fear of the Void Below is, of course, awful in the current meta, but it was a necessary anti-Potence play back in the day.

What I regret is not discovering the Blessing of the Name/Change of Target combo much earlier in time to abuse the greatest combo of them all in this deck.  By the way, I am the undisputed heavyweight champion of playing Blessing of the Name … at least, until someone disputes it.  I played BotN a ton before I played this deck.  Note that it’s 1.1.  I didn’t play the same decks in tournaments back then.  I made an exception for this deck because I saw the potential if I added far more wakes and took out some of the BotNs.

How did this deck win?  My prey was Malk Mask of a 1000 Faces (Command of the Beast multiple times).  He got his one VP but had to die.  I was using Giotto’s ability like crazy to discard everything except bleed and stealth.  I bled at stealth and he was all forward facing so didn’t just bounce me for the win.


Pale Panda Warriors

Mergen thought this deck was ridiculous.  It is.  It’s also the only deck I’ve played that has won a large tournament (large being relative, talking about in the US).  I ousted Hugh in the finals playing some crappy archetype that involves Tzimisce bleeding at stealth.

Before I ousted him, Hugh turned to my predator, Courtois, and asked “What does this deck do?  Do I need to be worried about it?”  Mike’s answer?  “I have no idea.”  This was the same Courtois who was my predator in the first round.  That was the round in which my Ghouled Street Thug went to long with Fake Out and threw a Sewer Lid.

As I’ve said I think multiple times, I completely forgot that this deck was supposed to tap my prey’s minions to facilitate bleeding using vampire specials.  In the second round, where I got my GW, I refused to oust my prey for the longest time playing Goratrix while he sat on one pool.  He was in dire straights largely because my predator, Swainbank, was playing merged Ambrogino Giovanni and I kept bouncing.  I stole Swainbank’s Barrens and Barrensed away my own Barrens.  I was forced to reveal my hand due to Aura Reading by Goratrix, where David Tatu and Paul Johnson saw my Fear of Mekhet with both of them having ICMs in play.  Paul cycled like crazy to Sudden.  Paul helped me collapse the table.

How did this deck win?  I was in an endgame with The Lasombra.  The game almost timed out.  Jeff’s phone went off, but the official time wasn’t done yet.  I had enough bleeds for three/five and votes to win, providing one of the funniest tournament reports I’ve read – Mini Qualifier Winner.  I’ve got to preserve that for posterity.

I had so much fun asking Courtois to write up a scathing commentary on the deck.  I wish we would have written down what I told him.  Instead, mundane stuff you can read on Secret Library.


Silent Symphony

Yes, I put Protect Thine Own in a deck.

This deck, “objectively”, could be higher because it’s a combo deck and because some of the following decks are kind of goofy.  People who don’t understand it will grossly underestimate what it can do.  It’s not a vote deck.  It’s a deck that plays 38 votes to win the way it’s supposed to win.  It swarm bleeds with Inner Circle Members.

It also plays Business Pressure because I had to build Colin’s deck after seeing it played in the DC area.  Who doesn’t want to play a Business Pressure deck?

Why is this my deck and not Colin’s deck?  It is cored on his concept.  The crypt is a bit different.  The main difference is the combat.  Majesty x4 and Zip Gun x5 – that’s how you win V:TES.

Why isn’t this higher?  It didn’t Dominate.  I had like one GW or something going into the finals.  “Objectively”, it can be dealt with before or after it “goes off”.

How did this deck win?  One point, a player could have played Delaying Tactics on Honor the Elders.  He didn’t.  I don’t remember much else of what happened.


Weapon Not Found

Where Pale Panda Warriors was the deck that got the most grief when I won, this is the deck that I get the most grief for now.  The #2 deck has the same feature that has me put this so high in the list.

I Dominate-d.  I had two GWs in the three prelim rounds.  Only two?  I was the only player to oust anyone in the third prelim.  I was just playing for controlling who got into the finals at that point.

Sure, in the finals, no one ousted anyone.  I was closest.  I had two chances.  Another deck had one.  I had Arika as my predator, discarded a Dominate skill card with The Baron in play and Redirection in my hand because who needs to be able to bounce her sorry ass when you are just this elite?

How did this deck win?  I burned a War Ghoul with Compress in one round.  I played Ashes to Ashes.  I don’t mean I had it in the deck.  I mean I played it … in a game.  That’s how you win V:TES.


Mellow-Yellow Drama

How do you know this deck is strong like bull?  I had other decks with currently banned cards, two with Lilith’s Blessing.  This deck has two banned cards in it.

In one prelim, I changed seats three times.  From my votes.  In the other prelim, I changed seats.  In the finals?  Nope.

How did this deck win?  The rest of the table forced me to oust everyone.  Well, except in the endgame.  My predator was trying to combat me.  So, he had to die.  My next predator was combatty, so he had to die, but I had to kill my prey, so I killed them both.  Per a deal, my last opponent withdrew.  Yes, that makes zero sense.  Maybe being in second meant something back then.  Whoever I chose to be ousted got ousted – that’s how you play Daughters.


When in doubt … Win

Objectively, whatever objectively means with regards to deck strength, this deck is a joke.  So, how can I, in good faith, present this as better than the above decks?

I controlled my own fate.  I effortlessly got into the finals.  In the finals, I threatened my prey by saying “if you don’t go forward, I’m just going to oust you”.  He didn’t go forward enough.  So, I ousted him and took my chances in the endgame, where I didn’t have that much trouble finishing off Ira.

No, I don’t remember how this deck could be so dominating.  I do remember ousting one player with Victim of Habit naming Unwholesome Bond.  Irrefutable proof of perfection.

How did I win?  I bled some, blocked some, bounced some, … I have no frickin’ clue.


Living Lolita Loca

Locals weren’t prepared for this deck.  Actually, the community at large didn’t know this archetype at the time I played it, as people would make comments on the newsgroup about how it should have more intercept.

Evidence of the brokenness of The Embrace.  Yet, I gave this exact deck to someone in the last few years and he was top seed going into the finals with a really good path to victory.  Since the winning deck, which was quite cool, never got published, I would have preferred this deck won to prove how absurdly good winnie bleed is.

Some tech here because, as I keep saying, combat back in the day was all about Immortal Grapple.

So my type of deck.  Just so fun to swarm bleed at stealth.  Then, nowadays, it’s highly amusing for how janky it seems with the Saturday-Night Specials.

How did this win?  My prey in the finals played Game of Malkav.  I chose 5.  He was ousted.  I ripped through the rest of the table.


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