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Official Malkavian Antitribu Newsletter, May 2005

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Anonymous
May 16, 2005 12:42:40 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.trading-cards.jyhad (More info?)

Official VEKN Malkavian Antitribu NEWSLETTER, May 2005
VOLUME IV, Issue VIII

1. THE CARD (not just "CARD OF THE MONTH", but much more...)

Are you surprised to see a newsletter starting with "Card of the Month"
part? Yes, that's very unusual but the card really deserves it. Unlike
the previous issue (that covered usage of Mind of a Killer) this
newsletter is dedicated to the card with unique ability. You guessed
right, I'm finally going to talk about Sibyl's Tongue, which was used
in virtually all my previous decks.

Name: Sibyl's Tongue
[BH:R2]
Cardtype: Action
Clan: Malkavian antitribu
Cost: X blood
+1 stealth action.
This action costs X blood, where X is the number of Sibyl's Tongues in
your ash heap. Choose a card by name. Search your library for a copy of
that card, show it to all players, and move it to your hand. Discard
down to your hand size and shuffle your library afterward.

Currently Sibyl's Tongue is the only card in the whole game that allows
you to fetch ANY card in your library. There are some ways to fetch
equipment, and some of them are very effective (i.e. Magic of the Smith
or Ivan Krenyenko's ability), there is a card to fetch Gehenna events -
Fortshritt Library, which, unfortunately, can be played only once.
Spirit Summoning Chamber can fetch any Thaumaturgy card, but if you
want to fetch a master card or an action card, the only way to achieve
this is Sibyl's Tongue.
Now please have a look at the current situation in the game. Hundreds
of library cards are unique, or can be played only once, or just should
be played early (Web of Knives Recruit is one of the best examples).
These cards are very powerful - usually much more powerful than
"common" cards that are used in great numbers, but you generally can't
afford putting a lot of them into your deck. A second copy of the
unique card in your hand is a dead card, as you cannot play it. You
still CAN use several copies of the card, if the card is really
important and you want to increase chances of getting it in time, but
how many copies? A typical deck contains 80-90 cards, and even 2-3
copies of the card still won't guarantee receiving one copy in the
first 5-6 game turns. Packing 5-6 copies of a card that you're going to
play only once is calling for trouble, but sometimes this may be
reasonable. Haven't you encounter Anneke deck with 5 Anima Gatherings
at the newsgroup? Then you should gladly admit that Sibyl's Tongue,
which nullifies these problems, is really wonderful.
Just to demonstrate the wonder, let's assume that you're playing a
standard !Malk Kindred Spirits deck, and you use Information Highways
to get your vampires faster, The Barrens to cycle unneeded cards and
Secure Haven to protect your best vampire against rushes. Without
Sibyl's Tongues, you should put at least two Information Highways and
two Barrens (you can always discard second copy using the first one).
Some decks also have two Secure Havens, as this card really can turn a
loss into a victory. Chances of getting Info Highway in your starting
hand are slim, but KS decks usually have a good card flow, and you may
get one of them until they got useless. Barrens never get useless,
unless you cannot afford contesting it, but Secure Haven may be useless
if nobody tries to rush you. Generally you can manage the problem of
replacing unneeded cards (especially if you have Barrens), but why
should you? If you replace extra copies of all three cards with 3
Sibyl's Tongues, your deck will be much more stable. First-turn Yorik
or Boy Toy will be much more efficient if he would play Sibyl's Tongue
to fetch Information Highway instead of bleeding for 1. This would be
especially effective if you're going to influence a huge vampire who
will, in turn, play Governs/Calls/4th Traditions to help you getting
the rest vampires.
IMHO, there are two kinds of anti-Malkavian decks: decks with just a
few Sibyl's Tongues (1-3) and decks with a lot of them. Note that I
just DISMISS !Malk decks without Sibyl's Tongues. Really, why should
anyone avoid putting 2 Sibyl's Tongues into a deck with enough !Malks
to play them? The first Tongue would be free, the second would cost
just one blood. Surely, sometimes you'd prefer another card -
especially if you're playing S&B and you need just one bleed modifier
to oust your prey - but the ability to fetch Dreams of the Sphinx or
Ivory Bow when you need them far outweights the possible inconvenience.
You must spend an action to play Sibyl's Tongue, but this action
doesn't require any Disciplines, and it may be played even by Yorik,
who has Obfuscate. You may even send Eddie Gaines or Boy Toy,
especially if someone can play Cloak the Gathering - and you'll never
find more efficient task for them. That's why I really cannot
understand why people still play !Malks without Sibyl's Tongues.
So, the decks with few Sibyl's Tongues are just normal !Malk decks, but
decks with a lot of them aren't. If you play a lot of S'sT, your deck
behaves like a "combo decks" in Magic or many other CCGs: you are going
to fetch several cards that, being combined, would create tremendous
advantage. The whole concept of combo decks is almost nonexistent in
VtES for several reasons: there aren't cards to fetch needed parts
(except for Sibyl's Tongue and few other limited cards), deck size is
large, and the game usually lasts for not more than 12-15 turns. But
you still can build combo decks and even win with them if you would
follow these guidelines:

* Don't include too many Sibyl's Tongues. Your deck should play not
more than 5-6, since their price becomes too expensive. Thus, you can
put not more than 7-8 copies into your deck. If you want to increase
chances of getting them, you can lower the number of cards instead of
adding more copies.
* Most effective combo decks are built around intercept strategy. The
reason is simple: you need time to get your Sibyl's Tongues. If you
would fail to stop your predator, you wouldn't survive long enough to
demonstrate your brilliant combo. This creates certain problems, as
!Malks aren't very good in combat (at least they weren't prior to
Louhi), so you'll generally be forced to mix them with vampires from
the other clans.
* Have a good card cycling. Combo decks want to get needed cards
quickly - it would be great if you manage to play two Sibyl's Tongues
in the first 5-6 turns. And you will happily get rid of the last
Tongues, when you won't need them anymore. Dreams of the Sphinx and
Fragment of the Book of Nod are the best, if Learjet isn't good enough
in your deck.
* Your deck should work even without Sibyl's Tongues - at least it
should be able to do something. Don't rely on getting a 3-4 card combo.
Two-card combo should allow you to hold the fire until you get the rest
cards.

2. VAMPIRE OF THE MONTH

Name: Quira, The Bitch Queen [Sabbat:V, tenth]
Clan: Malkavian antitribu
Group: 2
Capacity: 6
Discipline: obt tha AUS OBF
Sabbat: +1 bleed.

Some vampires have really cool names - what do you think about "The
Bitch Queen"? IMHO, Quira's name is second only to the Miller
Delmardigan's "Teacher of Bahari". Actually, "The Bitch Queen" sounds
much better, but, unfortunately, her bitchy nature is represented only
by her +1 bleed bonus in the game, while Miller usually performs
amazing shows of "the Bahari", involving Blur, Quickness and Psyche!
As an anti-Malk vampire, Quira is very strange. She has no Dementation,
and, as you already know, this Discipline is our sole source of power.
Without Dementation, she cannot play Kindred Spirits, Confusion or Eyes
of Chaos. On the other hand, she has inbuilt +1 bleed - actually, Quira
is the cheapest vampire having "unconditional" +1 bleed, and there are
no other 6-caps (or even 7-caps!) with +1 bleed and superior Obfuscate.
Speaking about Kindred Spirits deck, it should be obvious that having
"+1 bleed" is much better than having inferior Dementation, but much
worse than having it at superior. Inferior Dementation allows gaining a
pool from Kindred Spirits, but you'll have to play a bleed modifier to
bleed for 2, while Quira bleeds for 2 without any cards. Superior
Dementation enables bleeding any player at least for 2 and gaining a
pool with a single Kindred Spirits, and you may increase bleed up to
3-4. Unsrprisingly, you will often encounter Quira in the Kindred
Spirits decks: she is a good bleeder and a wonderful "support vampire"
with superior Auspex and Obfuscate. Decks with Dementation skill cards,
however, tend to avoid Quira, since playing a single Dementation on her
would be less profitable than playing it on a smaller dem/obf vampire
(i.e. Yorik): the ability to play Confusion and Deny at superior is
crucial.
But sometimes you aren't building a Kindred Spirits deck; you want to
play without Dementation at all, but you still need Auspex to
reduce/bounce bleeds and superior Obfuscate to play Cloak the
Gathering/Confusion of the Eye or just push the crucial actions -
Sibyl's Tongue is a good example :)  And you may just need a Malkavian
antitribu to play Sibyl's Tongues - what can be better than a good
6-cap vamp capable of bleeding for 2 each turn without any cards? Quira
was born to form a core of a "Sibyl's Tongue support group" in any
crypt willing to play this card. Roger Farnsworth is also very good for
this, and he's much cheaper, but if you can afford Quira, you will
always prefer her. When you have no Tongues, or just don't need more
Tongues, Roger can just hunt or bleed for 1, while Quira can bleed for
2, or use her superior Auspex to bounce/reduce bleeds.
Finally, let's inspect Quira's out-clan Disciplines: inferior
Thaumaturgy and Obtenebration. Inferior Thaumaturgy matches the same
Discipline of Marie Faucigny, with the same possibilities - Quira also
can play Burst of Sunlight and Rutor's Hand if someone would resque her
from torpor after that. She can accompany Marie in 2-3 group DOM/OBF
deck with Thaumaturgy support, which I will eventually post (hint for
now: do you know that Reverend Blackwood is very good with Bursts?),
but she really lacks Marie's abilities, especially the optional dodge.
Inferior Obtenebration enables two S:CE cards - Oubliette and Shadow
Body. Both cost 1 blood, but hey, it's Strike: Combat Ends! If Malks
had S:CE, they would dominate the whole game. And these cards at
inferior are the same as the inferior Majesty - does anybody want to
say a single word against Majesty? Overall, you may encounter Quira in
a DOM/OBT /obf stealth-bleed deck along with Gratiano and Guido
Lucciano. Quira is really good.

DECK OF THE MONTH

Deck Name: Laz & !Malks
Created By: Ilya Ginsburg
Description: !Malks play Sibyl's Tongues, Lazverinus protects them

Crypt: (12 cards, Min: 17, Max: 40, Avg: 7)
-------------------------------------------
4 Lazverinus pro AUS DOM FOR POT 10 !Ventrue
2 Quira obt tha AUS OBF 6 !Malk
3 Marie Faucigny dem tha AUS OBF 7 !Malk
2 Roger Farnsworth aus OBF 4 !Malk
1 Zoe cel obf AUS 3 Malk

Library: (90 cards)
-------------------
Master (16 cards)
1 Rack, The
1 Demonstration
1 Institution Hunting Ground
6 Blood Doll
1 Hungry Coyote, The
1 Fear of Mekhet
1 Powerbase: Montreal
2 Dreams of the Sphinx
1 Fragment of the Book of Nod
1 Vast Wealth

Action (18 cards)
1 Aranthebes, The Immortal
2 Eternal Vigilance
6 Govern the Unaligned
1 Anima Gathering
7 Sibyl`s Tongue
1 Pulse of the Canaille

Action Modifier (12 cards)
5 Freak Drive
7 Cloak the Gathering

Reaction (19 cards)
6 Telepathic Misdirection
6 Eagle`s Sight
3 Precognition
4 Wake with Evening`s Freshness

Combat (20 cards)
8 Unflinching Persistence
6 Immortal Grapple
4 Taste of Vitae
2 Disarm

Ally (2 cards)
1 Mylan Horseed (Goblin)
1 Neighbourhood Watch Commander (Hunter)

Equipment (3 cards)
1 Bowl of Convergence
1 Flak Jacket
1 Sport Bike

This deck is very interesting, as it's almost "pure intercept" deck
that, however, can oust its prey pretty fast with a help of Quira,
Anima Gathering and Pulse of the Canaille. Sibyl's Tongues are used to
fetch the most effective answers to the most dangerous threats.
Everyone knows that Lazverinus is good, but he needs Eternal Vigilance
to become truly powerful blocker, and Anima Gathering/Bowl of
Convergence provide permanent +2 intercept. All these cards are primary
targets of your Sibyl's Tongues. You may also wish to fetch Mylan
Horseed or The Rack, as they make your life much easier. If you have
time (your predator isn't very aggressive or he is concentrated on
defense against your grandpredator), you may fetch Vast Wealth instead
of Bowl of Convergence, especially if you control Marie Faucigny - she
will then fetch all your equipment for free. There are also two
"emergency targets": Fear of Mekhet against IC members, especially
Arika (PTO is a huge threat that will ruin your game) and Aranthebes,
the Immortal against weenies.
The crypt deserves a few words, as it was designed to achieve several
goals. Obviously, in a deck like this we have no place for Dementation
cards, so we don't need Dementation at all. This makes the most famous
!Malks (Dolphin Black, Uncle George, Yorik etc.) useless in this deck,
but Quira becomes really brilliant, and Marie Faucigny's disadvantage
(inferior Dementation) disappears. Both girls are very good in this
deck, though it may be clever to influence Quira last as the table can
assume that you're playing S&B. Marie is the "second blocker" of this
deck - she can play second Eternal Vigilance and Sport Bike, block and
use her inbuilt dodge. Roger Farnsworth can enter play fast and fetch
the most needed card (including Dreams of the Sphinx to get Lazverinus
quickly).
Zoe is a Camarilla Malk, and she cannot play Sibyl's Tongue or hunt for
2 blood in The Hungry Coyote. The only reason of her presence here is
Anima Gathering. If you get Zoe, you should fetch Anima Gathering
first, since +2 intercept and +1 bleed for Lazverinus is well worth
having Zoe tapped forever. If you don't have Zoe, you can play Anima
Gathering with Roger Farnsworth or even Quira, but they can perform
useful actions, so it may be better to fetch Bowl of Convergence first
or get it through Vast Wealth.
Now you should note that ALL !Malks here have superior Obfuscate, so
each of them can play Cloak the Gathering to protect the most important
actions: Eternal Vigilance, Anima Gathering and Bowl of Convergence.
Nowadays almost every deck can block +1 stealth actions, at least
eventually, and the ability to increase stealth may be crucial. You can
add more Cloaks if intercept is popular in your playgroup.
The rest cards are pretty straighforward. You may regain pool with the
Blood Dolls, and you have The Hungry Coyote, Hunting Grounds and The
Rack to refill your vampires. There are also Governs and Powerbase:
Montreal to ensure that you manage to influence at least Laz and Marie
and survive. Cards can be cycled with the Fragment of the Book of Nod;
Dreams of the Sphinx, as usual, can help in both cases. Intercept and
combat modules are rather light, but they are backed up by the good
permanents (Neighbourhood Watch Commander is actually a "permanent
combat card" which may force your predator to cancel the actions he was
planning).

That's all for May, and, as usual, any ideas and comments are
appreciated.

Yours,
Ector
Anonymous
May 16, 2005 1:27:09 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.trading-cards.jyhad (More info?)

Ector wrote:
> Official VEKN Malkavian Antitribu NEWSLETTER, May 2005
> VOLUME IV, Issue VIII
>
> 1. THE CARD (not just "CARD OF THE MONTH", but much more...)
>
> Are you surprised to see a newsletter starting with "Card of the
Month"
> part? Yes, that's very unusual but the card really deserves it.
Unlike
> the previous issue (that covered usage of Mind of a Killer) this
> newsletter is dedicated to the card with unique ability. You guessed
> right, I'm finally going to talk about Sibyl's Tongue, which was used
> in virtually all my previous decks.
>
> Name: Sibyl's Tongue
> [BH:R2]
> Cardtype: Action
> Clan: Malkavian antitribu
> Cost: X blood
> +1 stealth action.
> This action costs X blood, where X is the number of Sibyl's Tongues
in
> your ash heap. Choose a card by name. Search your library for a copy
of
> that card, show it to all players, and move it to your hand. Discard
> down to your hand size and shuffle your library afterward.
>
> Currently Sibyl's Tongue is the only card in the whole game that
allows
> you to fetch ANY card in your library. There are some ways to fetch
> equipment, and some of them are very effective (i.e. Magic of the
Smith
> or Ivan Krenyenko's ability), there is a card to fetch Gehenna events
-
> Fortshritt Library, which, unfortunately, can be played only once.
> Spirit Summoning Chamber can fetch any Thaumaturgy card, but if you
> want to fetch a master card or an action card, the only way to
achieve
> this is Sibyl's Tongue.
> Now please have a look at the current situation in the game. Hundreds
> of library cards are unique, or can be played only once, or just
should
> be played early (Web of Knives Recruit is one of the best examples).
> These cards are very powerful - usually much more powerful than
> "common" cards that are used in great numbers, but you generally
can't
> afford putting a lot of them into your deck. A second copy of the
> unique card in your hand is a dead card, as you cannot play it. You
> still CAN use several copies of the card, if the card is really
> important and you want to increase chances of getting it in time, but
> how many copies? A typical deck contains 80-90 cards, and even 2-3
> copies of the card still won't guarantee receiving one copy in the
> first 5-6 game turns. Packing 5-6 copies of a card that you're going
to
> play only once is calling for trouble, but sometimes this may be
> reasonable. Haven't you encounter Anneke deck with 5 Anima Gatherings
> at the newsgroup? Then you should gladly admit that Sibyl's Tongue,
> which nullifies these problems, is really wonderful.
> Just to demonstrate the wonder, let's assume that you're playing a
> standard !Malk Kindred Spirits deck, and you use Information Highways
> to get your vampires faster, The Barrens to cycle unneeded cards and
> Secure Haven to protect your best vampire against rushes. Without
> Sibyl's Tongues, you should put at least two Information Highways and
> two Barrens (you can always discard second copy using the first one).
> Some decks also have two Secure Havens, as this card really can turn
a
> loss into a victory. Chances of getting Info Highway in your starting
> hand are slim, but KS decks usually have a good card flow, and you
may
> get one of them until they got useless. Barrens never get useless,
> unless you cannot afford contesting it, but Secure Haven may be
useless
> if nobody tries to rush you. Generally you can manage the problem of
> replacing unneeded cards (especially if you have Barrens), but why
> should you? If you replace extra copies of all three cards with 3
> Sibyl's Tongues, your deck will be much more stable. First-turn Yorik
> or Boy Toy will be much more efficient if he would play Sibyl's
Tongue
> to fetch Information Highway instead of bleeding for 1. This would be
> especially effective if you're going to influence a huge vampire who
> will, in turn, play Governs/Calls/4th Traditions to help you getting
> the rest vampires.
> IMHO, there are two kinds of anti-Malkavian decks: decks with just a
> few Sibyl's Tongues (1-3) and decks with a lot of them. Note that I
> just DISMISS !Malk decks without Sibyl's Tongues. Really, why should
> anyone avoid putting 2 Sibyl's Tongues into a deck with enough !Malks
> to play them? The first Tongue would be free, the second would cost
> just one blood. Surely, sometimes you'd prefer another card -
> especially if you're playing S&B and you need just one bleed modifier
> to oust your prey - but the ability to fetch Dreams of the Sphinx or
> Ivory Bow when you need them far outweights the possible
inconvenience.
> You must spend an action to play Sibyl's Tongue, but this action
> doesn't require any Disciplines, and it may be played even by Yorik,
> who has Obfuscate. You may even send Eddie Gaines or Boy Toy,
> especially if someone can play Cloak the Gathering - and you'll never
> find more efficient task for them. That's why I really cannot
> understand why people still play !Malks without Sibyl's Tongues.
> So, the decks with few Sibyl's Tongues are just normal !Malk decks,
but
> decks with a lot of them aren't. If you play a lot of S'sT, your deck
> behaves like a "combo decks" in Magic or many other CCGs: you are
going
> to fetch several cards that, being combined, would create tremendous
> advantage. The whole concept of combo decks is almost nonexistent in
> VtES for several reasons: there aren't cards to fetch needed parts
> (except for Sibyl's Tongue and few other limited cards), deck size is
> large, and the game usually lasts for not more than 12-15 turns. But
> you still can build combo decks and even win with them if you would
> follow these guidelines:
>
> * Don't include too many Sibyl's Tongues. Your deck should play not
> more than 5-6, since their price becomes too expensive. Thus, you can
> put not more than 7-8 copies into your deck. If you want to increase
> chances of getting them, you can lower the number of cards instead of
> adding more copies.
> * Most effective combo decks are built around intercept strategy. The
> reason is simple: you need time to get your Sibyl's Tongues. If you
> would fail to stop your predator, you wouldn't survive long enough to
> demonstrate your brilliant combo. This creates certain problems, as
> !Malks aren't very good in combat (at least they weren't prior to
> Louhi), so you'll generally be forced to mix them with vampires from
> the other clans.
> * Have a good card cycling. Combo decks want to get needed cards
> quickly - it would be great if you manage to play two Sibyl's Tongues
> in the first 5-6 turns. And you will happily get rid of the last
> Tongues, when you won't need them anymore. Dreams of the Sphinx and
> Fragment of the Book of Nod are the best, if Learjet isn't good
enough
> in your deck.
> * Your deck should work even without Sibyl's Tongues - at least it
> should be able to do something. Don't rely on getting a 3-4 card
combo.
> Two-card combo should allow you to hold the fire until you get the
rest
> cards.
>
> 2. VAMPIRE OF THE MONTH
>
> Name: Quira, The Bitch Queen [Sabbat:V, tenth]
> Clan: Malkavian antitribu
> Group: 2
> Capacity: 6
> Discipline: obt tha AUS OBF
> Sabbat: +1 bleed.
>
> Some vampires have really cool names - what do you think about "The
> Bitch Queen"? IMHO, Quira's name is second only to the Miller
> Delmardigan's "Teacher of Bahari". Actually, "The Bitch Queen" sounds
> much better, but, unfortunately, her bitchy nature is represented
only
> by her +1 bleed bonus in the game, while Miller usually performs
> amazing shows of "the Bahari", involving Blur, Quickness and Psyche!
> As an anti-Malk vampire, Quira is very strange. She has no
Dementation,
> and, as you already know, this Discipline is our sole source of
power.
> Without Dementation, she cannot play Kindred Spirits, Confusion or
Eyes
> of Chaos. On the other hand, she has inbuilt +1 bleed - actually,
Quira
> is the cheapest vampire having "unconditional" +1 bleed, and there
are
> no other 6-caps (or even 7-caps!) with +1 bleed and superior
Obfuscate.
> Speaking about Kindred Spirits deck, it should be obvious that having
> "+1 bleed" is much better than having inferior Dementation, but much
> worse than having it at superior. Inferior Dementation allows gaining
a
> pool from Kindred Spirits, but you'll have to play a bleed modifier
to
> bleed for 2, while Quira bleeds for 2 without any cards. Superior
> Dementation enables bleeding any player at least for 2 and gaining a
> pool with a single Kindred Spirits, and you may increase bleed up to
> 3-4. Unsrprisingly, you will often encounter Quira in the Kindred
> Spirits decks: she is a good bleeder and a wonderful "support
vampire"
> with superior Auspex and Obfuscate. Decks with Dementation skill
cards,
> however, tend to avoid Quira, since playing a single Dementation on
her
> would be less profitable than playing it on a smaller dem/obf vampire
> (i.e. Yorik): the ability to play Confusion and Deny at superior is
> crucial.
> But sometimes you aren't building a Kindred Spirits deck; you want to
> play without Dementation at all, but you still need Auspex to
> reduce/bounce bleeds and superior Obfuscate to play Cloak the
> Gathering/Confusion of the Eye or just push the crucial actions -
> Sibyl's Tongue is a good example :)  And you may just need a Malkavian
> antitribu to play Sibyl's Tongues - what can be better than a good
> 6-cap vamp capable of bleeding for 2 each turn without any cards?
Quira
> was born to form a core of a "Sibyl's Tongue support group" in any
> crypt willing to play this card. Roger Farnsworth is also very good
for
> this, and he's much cheaper, but if you can afford Quira, you will
> always prefer her. When you have no Tongues, or just don't need more
> Tongues, Roger can just hunt or bleed for 1, while Quira can bleed
for
> 2, or use her superior Auspex to bounce/reduce bleeds.
> Finally, let's inspect Quira's out-clan Disciplines: inferior
> Thaumaturgy and Obtenebration. Inferior Thaumaturgy matches the same
> Discipline of Marie Faucigny, with the same possibilities - Quira
also
> can play Burst of Sunlight and Rutor's Hand if someone would resque
her
> from torpor after that. She can accompany Marie in 2-3 group DOM/OBF
> deck with Thaumaturgy support, which I will eventually post (hint for
> now: do you know that Reverend Blackwood is very good with Bursts?),
> but she really lacks Marie's abilities, especially the optional
dodge.
> Inferior Obtenebration enables two S:CE cards - Oubliette and Shadow
> Body. Both cost 1 blood, but hey, it's Strike: Combat Ends! If Malks
> had S:CE, they would dominate the whole game. And these cards at
> inferior are the same as the inferior Majesty - does anybody want to
> say a single word against Majesty? Overall, you may encounter Quira
in
> a DOM/OBT /obf stealth-bleed deck along with Gratiano and Guido
> Lucciano. Quira is really good.
>
> DECK OF THE MONTH
>
> Deck Name: Laz & !Malks
> Created By: Ilya Ginsburg
> Description: !Malks play Sibyl's Tongues, Lazverinus protects them
>
> Crypt: (12 cards, Min: 17, Max: 40, Avg: 7)
> -------------------------------------------
> 4 Lazverinus pro AUS DOM FOR POT 10 !Ventrue
> 2 Quira obt tha AUS OBF 6 !Malk
> 3 Marie Faucigny dem tha AUS OBF 7 !Malk
> 2 Roger Farnsworth aus OBF 4 !Malk
> 1 Zoe cel obf AUS 3 Malk
>
> Library: (90 cards)
> -------------------
> Master (16 cards)
> 1 Rack, The
> 1 Demonstration
> 1 Institution Hunting Ground
> 6 Blood Doll
> 1 Hungry Coyote, The
> 1 Fear of Mekhet
> 1 Powerbase: Montreal
> 2 Dreams of the Sphinx
> 1 Fragment of the Book of Nod
> 1 Vast Wealth
>
> Action (18 cards)
> 1 Aranthebes, The Immortal
> 2 Eternal Vigilance
> 6 Govern the Unaligned
> 1 Anima Gathering
> 7 Sibyl`s Tongue
> 1 Pulse of the Canaille
>
> Action Modifier (12 cards)
> 5 Freak Drive
> 7 Cloak the Gathering
>
> Reaction (19 cards)
> 6 Telepathic Misdirection
> 6 Eagle`s Sight
> 3 Precognition
> 4 Wake with Evening`s Freshness
>
> Combat (20 cards)
> 8 Unflinching Persistence
> 6 Immortal Grapple
> 4 Taste of Vitae
> 2 Disarm
>
> Ally (2 cards)
> 1 Mylan Horseed (Goblin)
> 1 Neighbourhood Watch Commander (Hunter)
>
> Equipment (3 cards)
> 1 Bowl of Convergence
> 1 Flak Jacket
> 1 Sport Bike
>
> This deck is very interesting, as it's almost "pure intercept" deck
> that, however, can oust its prey pretty fast with a help of Quira,
> Anima Gathering and Pulse of the Canaille. Sibyl's Tongues are used
to
> fetch the most effective answers to the most dangerous threats.
> Everyone knows that Lazverinus is good, but he needs Eternal
Vigilance
> to become truly powerful blocker, and Anima Gathering/Bowl of
> Convergence provide permanent +2 intercept. All these cards are
primary
> targets of your Sibyl's Tongues. You may also wish to fetch Mylan
> Horseed or The Rack, as they make your life much easier. If you have
> time (your predator isn't very aggressive or he is concentrated on
> defense against your grandpredator), you may fetch Vast Wealth
instead
> of Bowl of Convergence, especially if you control Marie Faucigny -
she
> will then fetch all your equipment for free. There are also two
> "emergency targets": Fear of Mekhet against IC members, especially
> Arika (PTO is a huge threat that will ruin your game) and Aranthebes,
> the Immortal against weenies.
> The crypt deserves a few words, as it was designed to achieve several
> goals. Obviously, in a deck like this we have no place for
Dementation
> cards, so we don't need Dementation at all. This makes the most
famous
> !Malks (Dolphin Black, Uncle George, Yorik etc.) useless in this
deck,
> but Quira becomes really brilliant, and Marie Faucigny's disadvantage
> (inferior Dementation) disappears. Both girls are very good in this
> deck, though it may be clever to influence Quira last as the table
can
> assume that you're playing S&B. Marie is the "second blocker" of this
> deck - she can play second Eternal Vigilance and Sport Bike, block
and
> use her inbuilt dodge. Roger Farnsworth can enter play fast and fetch
> the most needed card (including Dreams of the Sphinx to get
Lazverinus
> quickly).
> Zoe is a Camarilla Malk, and she cannot play Sibyl's Tongue or hunt
for
> 2 blood in The Hungry Coyote. The only reason of her presence here is
> Anima Gathering. If you get Zoe, you should fetch Anima Gathering
> first, since +2 intercept and +1 bleed for Lazverinus is well worth
> having Zoe tapped forever. If you don't have Zoe, you can play Anima
> Gathering with Roger Farnsworth or even Quira, but they can perform
> useful actions, so it may be better to fetch Bowl of Convergence
first
> or get it through Vast Wealth.
> Now you should note that ALL !Malks here have superior Obfuscate, so
> each of them can play Cloak the Gathering to protect the most
important
> actions: Eternal Vigilance, Anima Gathering and Bowl of Convergence.
> Nowadays almost every deck can block +1 stealth actions, at least
> eventually, and the ability to increase stealth may be crucial. You
can
> add more Cloaks if intercept is popular in your playgroup.
> The rest cards are pretty straighforward. You may regain pool with
the
> Blood Dolls, and you have The Hungry Coyote, Hunting Grounds and The
> Rack to refill your vampires. There are also Governs and Powerbase:
> Montreal to ensure that you manage to influence at least Laz and
Marie
> and survive. Cards can be cycled with the Fragment of the Book of
Nod;
> Dreams of the Sphinx, as usual, can help in both cases. Intercept and
> combat modules are rather light, but they are backed up by the good
> permanents (Neighbourhood Watch Commander is actually a "permanent
> combat card" which may force your predator to cancel the actions he
was
> planning).
>
> That's all for May, and, as usual, any ideas and comments are
> appreciated.
>
> Yours,
> Ector


A great card in conjunction with ST: Reinforcement! you can pick the
STs back up from the ashheap, so the next ones are free again. Also you
can get cards that you have only one of, and which were blocked back.
Also consider Pochtli, he has OBF.
Anonymous
May 16, 2005 1:47:20 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.trading-cards.jyhad (More info?)

Arden wrote:
>A great card in conjunction with ST: Reinforcement! you can pick the
>STs back up from the ashheap, so the next ones are free again. Also
you
>can get cards that you have only one of, and which were blocked back.
>Also consider Pochtli, he has OBF.

While perfectly valid, dude, why did you quote the *whole* newsletter?

-Peter
Related resources
Anonymous
May 16, 2005 2:06:49 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.trading-cards.jyhad (More info?)

erm...got used to google beta groups? (quoted text is hidden)
Anonymous
May 16, 2005 4:48:00 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.trading-cards.jyhad (More info?)

Ladies and gentlemen,
When I already posted this newsletter, I suddenly discovered a card
that MUST be in my "deck of the month" - Seal of Veddartha. I just
replaced Sport Bike to the Seal and wrote a section about this card. If
The Lasombra is reading this, I'd like to archive this version of
newsletter. Sorry for the inconvenience, but, you know, good ideas
always come too late :( 
---------------------------------------------------------

Official VEKN Malkavian Antitribu NEWSLETTER, May 2005
VOLUME IV, Issue VIII

1. THE CARD (not just "CARD OF THE MONTH", but much more...)

Are you surprised to see a newsletter starting with "Card of the Month"
part? Yes, that's very unusual but the card really deserves it. Unlike
the previous issue (that covered usage of Mind of a Killer) this
newsletter is dedicated to the card with unique ability. You guessed
right, I'm finally going to talk about Sibyl's Tongue, which was used
in virtually all my previous decks.

Name: Sibyl's Tongue
[BH:R2]
Cardtype: Action
Clan: Malkavian antitribu
Cost: X blood
+1 stealth action.
This action costs X blood, where X is the number of Sibyl's Tongues in
your ash heap. Choose a card by name. Search your library for a copy of
that card, show it to all players, and move it to your hand. Discard
down to your hand size and shuffle your library afterward.

Currently Sibyl's Tongue is the only card in the whole game that allows
you to fetch ANY card in your library. There are some ways to fetch
equipment, and some of them are very effective (i.e. Magic of the Smith
or Ivan Krenyenko's ability), there is a card to fetch Gehenna events -
Fortshritt Library, which, unfortunately, can be played only once.
Spirit Summoning Chamber can fetch any Thaumaturgy card, but if you
want to fetch a master card or an action card, the only way to achieve
this is Sibyl's Tongue.
Now please have a look at the current situation in the game. Hundreds
of library cards are unique, or can be played only once, or just should
be played early (Web of Knives Recruit is one of the best examples).
These cards are very powerful - usually much more powerful than
"common" cards that are used in great numbers, but you generally can't
afford putting a lot of them into your deck. A second copy of the
unique card in your hand is a dead card, as you cannot play it. You
still CAN use several copies of the card, if the card is really
important and you want to increase chances of getting it in time, but
how many copies? A typical deck contains 80-90 cards, and even 2-3
copies of the card still won't guarantee receiving one copy in the
first 5-6 game turns. Packing 5-6 copies of a card that you're going to
play only once is calling for trouble, but sometimes this may be
reasonable. Haven't you encounter Anneke deck with 5 Anima Gatherings
at the newsgroup? Then you should gladly admit that Sibyl's Tongue,
which nullifies these problems, is really wonderful.
Just to demonstrate the wonder, let's assume that you're playing a
standard !Malk Kindred Spirits deck, and you use Information Highways
to get your vampires faster, The Barrens to cycle unneeded cards and
Secure Haven to protect your best vampire against rushes. Without
Sibyl's Tongues, you should put at least two Information Highways and
two Barrens (you can always discard second copy using the first one).
Some decks also have two Secure Havens, as this card really can turn a
loss into a victory. Chances of getting Info Highway in your starting
hand are slim, but KS decks usually have a good card flow, and you may
get one of them until they got useless. Barrens never get useless,
unless you cannot afford contesting it, but Secure Haven may be useless
if nobody tries to rush you. Generally you can manage the problem of
replacing unneeded cards (especially if you have Barrens), but why
should you? If you replace extra copies of all three cards with 3
Sibyl's Tongues, your deck will be much more stable. First-turn Yorik
or Boy Toy will be much more efficient if he would play Sibyl's Tongue
to fetch Information Highway instead of bleeding for 1. This would be
especially effective if you're going to influence a huge vampire who
will, in turn, play Governs/Calls/4th Traditions to help you getting
the rest vampires.
IMHO, there are two kinds of anti-Malkavian decks: decks with just a
few Sibyl's Tongues (1-3) and decks with a lot of them. Note that I
just DISMISS !Malk decks without Sibyl's Tongues. Really, why should
anyone avoid putting 2 Sibyl's Tongues into a deck with enough !Malks
to play them? The first Tongue would be free, the second would cost
just one blood. Surely, sometimes you'd prefer another card -
especially if you're playing S&B and you need just one bleed modifier
to oust your prey - but the ability to fetch Dreams of the Sphinx or
Ivory Bow when you need them far outweights the possible inconvenience.
You must spend an action to play Sibyl's Tongue, but this action
doesn't require any Disciplines, and it may be played even by Yorik,
who has Obfuscate. You may even send Eddie Gaines or Boy Toy,
especially if someone can play Cloak the Gathering - and you'll never
find more efficient task for them. That's why I really cannot
understand why people still play !Malks without Sibyl's Tongues.
So, the decks with few Sibyl's Tongues are just normal !Malk decks, but
decks with a lot of them aren't. If you play a lot of S'sT, your deck
behaves like a "combo decks" in Magic or many other CCGs: you are going
to fetch several cards that, being combined, would create tremendous
advantage. The whole concept of combo decks is almost nonexistent in
VtES for several reasons: there aren't cards to fetch needed parts
(except for Sibyl's Tongue and few other limited cards), deck size is
large, and the game usually lasts for not more than 12-15 turns. But
you still can build combo decks and even win with them if you would
follow these guidelines:

* Don't include too many Sibyl's Tongues. Your deck should play not
more than 5-6, since their price becomes too expensive. Thus, you can
put not more than 7-8 copies into your deck. If you want to increase
chances of getting them, you can lower the number of cards instead of
adding more copies.
* Most effective combo decks are built around intercept strategy. The
reason is simple: you need time to get your Sibyl's Tongues. If you
would fail to stop your predator, you wouldn't survive long enough to
demonstrate your brilliant combo. This creates certain problems, as
!Malks aren't very good in combat (at least they weren't prior to
Louhi), so you'll generally be forced to mix them with vampires from
the other clans.
* Have a good card cycling. Combo decks want to get needed cards
quickly - it would be great if you manage to play two Sibyl's Tongues
in the first 5-6 turns. And you will happily get rid of the last
Tongues, when you won't need them anymore. Dreams of the Sphinx and
Fragment of the Book of Nod are the best, if Learjet isn't good enough
in your deck.
* Your deck should work even without Sibyl's Tongues - at least it
should be able to do something. Don't rely on getting a 3-4 card combo.
Two-card combo should allow you to hold the fire until you get the rest
cards.

2. VAMPIRE OF THE MONTH

Name: Quira, The Bitch Queen [Sabbat:V, tenth]
Clan: Malkavian antitribu
Group: 2
Capacity: 6
Discipline: obt tha AUS OBF
Sabbat: +1 bleed.

Some vampires have really cool names - what do you think about "The
Bitch Queen"? IMHO, Quira's name is second only to the Miller
Delmardigan's "Teacher of Bahari". Actually, "The Bitch Queen" sounds
much better, but, unfortunately, her bitchy nature is represented only
by her +1 bleed bonus in the game, while Miller usually performs
amazing shows of "the Bahari", involving Blur, Quickness and Psyche!
As an anti-Malk vampire, Quira is very strange. She has no Dementation,
and, as you already know, this Discipline is our sole source of power.
Without Dementation, she cannot play Kindred Spirits, Confusion or Eyes
of Chaos. On the other hand, she has inbuilt +1 bleed - actually, Quira
is the cheapest vampire having "unconditional" +1 bleed, and there are
no other 6-caps (or even 7-caps!) with +1 bleed and superior Obfuscate.
Speaking about Kindred Spirits deck, it should be obvious that having
"+1 bleed" is much better than having inferior Dementation, but much
worse than having it at superior. Inferior Dementation allows gaining a
pool from Kindred Spirits, but you'll have to play a bleed modifier to
bleed for 2, while Quira bleeds for 2 without any cards. Superior
Dementation enables bleeding any player at least for 2 and gaining a
pool with a single Kindred Spirits, and you may increase bleed up to
3-4. Unsrprisingly, you will often encounter Quira in the Kindred
Spirits decks: she is a good bleeder and a wonderful "support vampire"
with superior Auspex and Obfuscate. Decks with Dementation skill cards,
however, tend to avoid Quira, since playing a single Dementation on her
would be less profitable than playing it on a smaller dem/obf vampire
(i.e. Yorik): the ability to play Confusion and Deny at superior is
crucial.
But sometimes you aren't building a Kindred Spirits deck; you want to
play without Dementation at all, but you still need Auspex to
reduce/bounce bleeds and superior Obfuscate to play Cloak the
Gathering/Confusion of the Eye or just push the crucial actions -
Sibyl's Tongue is a good example :)  And you may just need a Malkavian
antitribu to play Sibyl's Tongues - what can be better than a good
6-cap vamp capable of bleeding for 2 each turn without any cards? Quira
was born to form a core of a "Sibyl's Tongue support group" in any
crypt willing to play this card. Roger Farnsworth is also very good for
this, and he's much cheaper, but if you can afford Quira, you will
always prefer her. When you have no Tongues, or just don't need more
Tongues, Roger can just hunt or bleed for 1, while Quira can bleed for
2, or use her superior Auspex to bounce/reduce bleeds.
Finally, let's inspect Quira's out-clan Disciplines: inferior
Thaumaturgy and Obtenebration. Inferior Thaumaturgy matches the same
Discipline of Marie Faucigny, with the same possibilities - Quira also
can play Burst of Sunlight and Rutor's Hand if someone would resque her
from torpor after that. She can accompany Marie in 2-3 group DOM/OBF
deck with Thaumaturgy support, which I will eventually post (hint for
now: do you know that Reverend Blackwood is very good with Bursts?),
but she really lacks Marie's abilities, especially the optional dodge.
Inferior Obtenebration enables two S:CE cards - Oubliette and Shadow
Body. Both cost 1 blood, but hey, it's Strike: Combat Ends! If Malks
had S:CE, they would dominate the whole game. And these cards at
inferior are the same as the inferior Majesty - does anybody want to
say a single word against Majesty? Overall, you may encounter Quira in
a DOM/OBT /obf stealth-bleed deck along with Gratiano and Guido
Lucciano. Quira is really good.

3. CARD OF THE MONTH (the "regular" one)

Name: Seal of Veddartha [Gehenna:R]
Cardtype: Equipment
Cost: 1 pool
Unique equipment.
Only usable by a vampire with capacity above 5. This vampire can bleed
at +1 bleed as a (D) action. During each of your untap phases, put a
counter on this card if it has fewer than four counters. The first two
counters each grant this vampire one level of Dominate [dom]. The next
two each grant this vampire one level of Fortitude [for]. Remove all
counters from this card if another minion gains control of it.

This card is so powerful that it should be at least ten times more
popular than now. Just for one pool you get +1 bleed (OK, this ability
is worse than "+1 bleed", but...), superior Dominate and superior
Fortitude! Just +1 bleed would be good enough for this price, but this
card allows you to "patch the holes" of your vampires and get the
much-needed Disciplines. Speaking in terms of "vampire points", Seal of
Veddartha's full bonus is worth FIVE points (two Disciplines at
superior and +1 bleed)!
Why the Seal isn't as popular as Ivory Bow or Giant's Blood? The first
reason of this is the fact that you generally get only part of its
bonus, since you cannot pack Dominate and Fortitude cards into your
deck if your vampires don't have these Disciplines at all. The second
reason is time. Four turns is very much in VtES, and if you find your
Seal on turn 10, generally you may discard it, as it would be too late.
Nevertheless, there are decks that can negate these disadvantages, and
in such decks the Seal becomes nearly "broken". You may build your deck
around vampire without DOM and/or FOR and include enough vamps with
these Disciplines to play your cards without Seal. In most cases you
should use Ventrue/!Ventrue as a base clan, since Dominate and
Fortitude are their clan Disciplines. On the other hand, Seal of
Veddartha should be appreciated by any clan without bleed bounce, since
superior Dominate offers the best possible bleed bounce cards; by any
clan without serious bleed capabilities, since it provides +1 bleed and
access to Bonding to bleed for 3 at +1 stealth, and by any deck based
on a large vampire, as the vampire would be able to play Govern the
Unaligned. Fortitude isn't completely useless even without any
Fortitude cards, since it protects your vampire from Kiss of Ra, and
sometimes it would be the single available combat Discipline.
Generally, Gangrel/!Gangrel should need the Seal most - I'm sure that
Enkidu would use it if only he could...
I guess you've read enough theory - let's look at the examples. Anneke
+ Seal = Govern, Deflection, Forced March and protection against Kiss
of Ra, not counting the Fortitude cards you can play to protect her in
combat. Cock Robin + Seal is very similar to Lazverinus :)  Mateusz
Gryzbowsky + Seal is the same case, cheaper, but without votes.
And now I'm going to demonstrate some deck ideas that REALLY "break"
Seal of Veddartha. Ivan Krenyenko can fetch it without any actions, and
he can use Obfuscate cards (or Jack of Both Sides) to play it. You
ALWAYS get your Seal early enough, so you can relatively safely pack
Dominate cards. Unfortunately, you won't get full bonus, as Ivan
already has superior Fortitude, but +1 bleed and superior Dominate is
just too good for a 1-pool equipment.
Another example of the "broken Seal" is my "deck of the Month" (see
below). You can fetch Seal of Veddartha with Sibyl's Tongue or Vast
Wealth, you will have time to collect the counters, as you're playing
an intercept deck, and this time you will get full 5-point bonus, as
you really need Dominate and Fortitude. Marie Faucigny with the Seal of
Veddartha will have all !Ventrue clan Disciplines at superior and +1
bleed - just like "!Malkavian Gustav Mallenhous" :)  That would be too
good for one pool, you say?
One pool? What are you talking about? Marie would play the Seal for
free!

4. DECK OF THE MONTH

Deck Name: Laz & !Malks
Created By: Ilya Ginsburg
Description: !Malks play Sibyl's Tongues, Lazverinus protects them

Crypt: (12 cards, Min: 17, Max: 40, Avg: 7)
-------------------------------------------
4 Lazverinus pro AUS DOM FOR POT 10 !Ventrue
2 Quira obt tha AUS OBF 6 !Malk
3 Marie Faucigny dem tha AUS OBF 7 !Malk
2 Roger Farnsworth aus OBF 4 !Malk
1 Zoe cel obf AUS 3 Malk

Library: (90 cards)
-------------------
Master (16 cards)
1 Rack, The
1 Demonstration
1 Institution Hunting Ground
6 Blood Doll
1 Hungry Coyote, The
1 Fear of Mekhet
1 Powerbase: Montreal
2 Dreams of the Sphinx
1 Fragment of the Book of Nod
1 Vast Wealth

Action (18 cards)
1 Aranthebes, The Immortal
2 Eternal Vigilance
6 Govern the Unaligned
1 Anima Gathering
7 Sibyl`s Tongue
1 Pulse of the Canaille

Action Modifier (12 cards)
5 Freak Drive
7 Cloak the Gathering

Reaction (19 cards)
6 Telepathic Misdirection
6 Eagle`s Sight
3 Precognition
4 Wake with Evening`s Freshness

Combat (20 cards)
8 Unflinching Persistence
6 Immortal Grapple
4 Taste of Vitae
2 Disarm

Ally (2 cards)
1 Mylan Horseed (Goblin)
1 Neighbourhood Watch Commander (Hunter)

Equipment (3 cards)
1 Bowl of Convergence
1 Flak Jacket
1 Seal of Veddartha

This deck is very interesting, as it's almost "pure intercept" deck
that, however, can oust its prey pretty fast with a help of Quira,
Anima Gathering and Pulse of the Canaille. Sibyl's Tongues are used to
fetch the most effective answers to the most dangerous threats.
Everyone knows that Lazverinus is good, but he needs Eternal Vigilance
to become truly powerful blocker, and Anima Gathering/Bowl of
Convergence provide permanent +2 intercept. All these cards are primary
targets of your Sibyl's Tongues. You may also wish to fetch Mylan
Horseed or The Rack, as they make your life much easier. If you have
time (your predator isn't very aggressive or he is concentrated on
defense against your grandpredator), you may fetch Vast Wealth instead
of Bowl of Convergence, especially if you control Marie Faucigny - she
will then fetch all your equipment for free. There are also two
"emergency targets": Fear of Mekhet against IC members, especially
Arika (PTO is a huge threat that will ruin your game) and Aranthebes,
the Immortal against weenies.
The crypt deserves a few words, as it was designed to achieve several
goals. Obviously, in a deck like this we have no place for Dementation
cards, so we don't need Dementation at all. This makes the most famous
!Malks (Dolphin Black, Uncle George, Yorik etc.) useless in this deck,
but Quira becomes really brilliant, and Marie Faucigny's disadvantage
(inferior Dementation) disappears. Both girls are very good in this
deck, though it may be clever to influence Quira last as the table can
assume that you're playing S&B. Marie is the "second blocker" of this
deck - she can play second Eternal Vigilance, block and use her inbuilt
dodge or Flak Jacket. Roger Farnsworth can enter play fast and fetch
the most needed card (including Dreams of the Sphinx to get Lazverinus
quickly).
Zoe is a Camarilla Malk, and she cannot play Sibyl's Tongue or hunt for
2 blood in The Hungry Coyote. The only reason of her presence here is
Anima Gathering. If you get Zoe, you should fetch Anima Gathering
first, since +2 intercept and +1 bleed for Lazverinus is well worth
having Zoe tapped forever. If you don't have Zoe, you can play Anima
Gathering with Roger Farnsworth or even Quira, but they can perform
useful actions, so it may be better to fetch Bowl of Convergence first
or get it through Vast Wealth.
Now you should note that ALL !Malks here have superior Obfuscate, so
each of them can play Cloak the Gathering to protect the most important
actions: Eternal Vigilance, Anima Gathering and Bowl of Convergence.
Nowadays almost every deck can block +1 stealth actions, at least
eventually, and the ability to increase stealth may be crucial. You can
add more Cloaks if intercept is popular in your playgroup.
The rest cards are pretty straighforward. You may regain pool with the
Blood Dolls, and you have The Hungry Coyote, Hunting Grounds and The
Rack to refill your vampires. There are also Governs and Powerbase:
Montreal to ensure that you manage to influence at least Laz and Marie
and survive. Cards can be cycled with the Fragment of the Book of Nod;
Dreams of the Sphinx, as usual, can help in both cases. Intercept and
combat modules are rather light, but they are backed up by the good
permanents (Neighbourhood Watch Commander is actually a "permanent
combat card" which may force your predator to cancel the actions he was
planning).

That's all for May, and, as usual, any ideas and comments are
appreciated.

Yours,
Ector
Anonymous
May 16, 2005 4:59:42 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.trading-cards.jyhad (More info?)

Arden McBathan wrote:

> A great card in conjunction with ST: Reinforcement! you can pick the
> STs back up from the ashheap, so the next ones are free again. Also
you
> can get cards that you have only one of, and which were blocked back.
> Also consider Pochtli, he has OBF.

Thanks for the ideas! Pochtli looks like too different from the !Malks
to use them in a single deck, but Reinforcements looks interesting...
I'm not sure about number of Reinforcements you could use - it wouldn't
be very clever to fetch a single Reinforcements with a ST!
IMHO, Waste Management Operation would be much better if you really
want to play heavy ST deck. You need Brujah Antitribu to play it, but
you may build a Black Hand deck or just use Mata Hari :) 

Yours,
Ector
Anonymous
May 17, 2005 1:04:06 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.trading-cards.jyhad (More info?)

"Ector" <Ector@mail.ru> wrote in message
news:1116272880.963289.295060@o13g2000cwo.googlegroups.com

> Ladies and gentlemen,
> When I already posted this newsletter, I suddenly discovered a card
> that MUST be in my "deck of the month" - Seal of Veddartha. I just
> replaced Sport Bike to the Seal and wrote a section about this card. If
> The Lasombra is reading this, I'd like to archive this version of
> newsletter. Sorry for the inconvenience, but, you know, good ideas
> always come too late :( 

I will archive your preferred version when I return home next week.
I have distributed this version on the Newsletter mailing list.

http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/VTES-Newsletters/



Carpe noctem.

Lasombra

http://www.TheLasombra.com/newsletters.htm


--
Posted via Mailgate.ORG Server - http://www.Mailgate.ORG
Anonymous
May 19, 2005 1:15:35 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.trading-cards.jyhad (More info?)

The Lasombra wrote:

> I will archive your preferred version when I return home next week.
> I have distributed this version on the Newsletter mailing list.
>
> http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/VTES-Newsletters/
>

Then please archive the copy below. Unfortunately, I made a mistake and
forgot that Eddie Gaines cannot play Sibyl's Tongue. Here's the fixed
version:

Official VEKN Malkavian Antitribu NEWSLETTER, May 2005
VOLUME IV, Issue VIII

1. THE CARD (not just "CARD OF THE MONTH", but much more...)

Are you surprised to see a newsletter starting with "Card of the Month"
part? Yes, that's very unusual but the card
really deserves it. Unlike the previous issue (that covered usage of
Mind of a Killer) this newsletter is dedicated to
the card with unique ability. You guessed right, I'm finally going to
talk about Sibyl's Tongue, which was used
in virtually all my previous decks.

Name: Sibyl's Tongue
[BH:R2]
Cardtype: Action
Clan: Malkavian antitribu
Cost: X blood
+1 stealth action.
This action costs X blood, where X is the number of Sibyl's Tongues in
your ash heap. Choose a card by name. Search your library for a copy of
that card, show it to all players, and move it to your hand. Discard
down to your hand size and shuffle your library afterward.

Currently Sibyl's Tongue is the only card in the whole game that allows
you to fetch ANY card in your library. There are
some ways to fetch equipment, and some of them are very effective (i.e.
Magic of the Smith or Ivan Krenyenko's ability), there is a card to
fetch Gehenna events - Fortshritt Library, which, unfortunately, can be
played only once. Spirit Summoning Chamber can fetch any Thaumaturgy
card, but if you want to fetch a master card or an action card, the
only way to achieve this is Sibyl's Tongue.
Now please have a look at the current situation in the game. Hundreds
of library cards are unique, or can be played only
once, or just should be played early (Web of Knives Recruit is one of
the best examples). These cards are very powerful - usually much more
powerful than "common" cards that are used in great numbers, but you
generally can't afford putting a lot of them into your deck. A second
copy of the unique card in your hand is a dead card, as you cannot play
it. You still CAN use several copies of the card, if the card is really
important and you want to increase chances of getting it in time, but
how many copies? A typical deck contains 80-90 cards, and even 2-3
copies of the card still won't guarantee receiving one copy in the
first 5-6 game turns. Packing 5-6 copies of a card that you're going to
play only once is calling for trouble, but sometimes this may be
reasonable. Haven't you encounter Anneke deck with 5 Anima Gatherings
at the newsgroup? Then you should gladly admit that Sibyl's Tongue,
which nullifies these problems, is really wonderful.
Just to demonstrate the wonder, let's assume that you're playing a
standard !Malk Kindred Spirits deck, and you use
Information Highways to get your vampires faster, The Barrens to cycle
unneeded cards and Secure Haven to protect your best vampire against
rushes. Without Sibyl's Tongues, you should put at least two
Information Highways and two Barrens (you can always discard second
copy using the first one). Some decks also have two Secure Havens, as
this card really can turn a loss into a victory. Chances of getting
Info Highway in your starting hand are slim, but KS decks usually have
a good card flow, and you may get one of them until they got useless.
Barrens never get useless, unless you cannot afford contesting it, but
Secure Haven may be useless if nobody tries to rush you. Generally you
can manage the problem of replacing unneeded cards (especially if you
have Barrens), but why should you? If you replace extra copies of all
three cards with 3 Sibyl's Tongues, your deck will be much more stable.
First-turn Yorik or Boy Toy will be much more efficient if he would
play Sibyl's Tongue to fetch Information Highway instead of bleeding
for 1. This would be especially effective if you're going to influence
a huge vampire who will, in turn, play Governs/Calls/4th Traditions to
help you getting the rest vampires.
IMHO, there are two kinds of anti-Malkavian decks: decks with just a
few Sibyl's Tongues (1-3) and decks with a lot of them. Note that I
just DISMISS !Malk decks without Sibyl's Tongues. Really, why should
anyone avoid putting 2 Sibyl's Tongues into a deck with enough !Malks
to play them? The first Tongue would be free, the second would cost
just one blood. Surely, sometimes you'd prefer another card -
especially if you're playing S&B and you need just one bleed
modifier to oust your prey - but the ability to fetch Dreams of the
Sphinx or Ivory Bow when you need them far outweights
the possible inconvenience. You must spend an action to play Sibyl's
Tongue, but this action doesn't require any
Disciplines, and it may be played even by Yorik, who has Obfuscate. You
may even send Boy Toy, especially if someone can play Cloak the
Gathering - and you'll never find more efficient task for him. That's
why I really cannot understand why people still play !Malks without
Sibyl's Tongues.
So, the decks with few Sibyl's Tongues are just normal !Malk decks, but
decks with a lot of them aren't. If you play a
lot of S'sT, your deck behaves like a "combo decks" in Magic or many
other CCGs: you are going to fetch several cards
that, being combined, would create tremendous advantage. The whole
concept of combo decks is almost nonexistent in
VtES for several reasons: there aren't cards to fetch needed parts
(except for Sibyl's Tongue and few other limited
cards), deck size is large, and the game usually lasts for not more
than 12-15 turns. But you still can build combo decks and even win with
them if you would follow these guidelines:

* Don't include too many Sibyl's Tongues. Your deck should play not
more than 5-6, since their price becomes too
expensive. Thus, you can put not more than 7-8 copies into your deck.
If you want to increase chances of getting them,
you can lower the number of cards instead of adding more copies.
* Most effective combo decks are built around intercept strategy. The
reason is simple: you need time to get your Sibyl's Tongues. If you
would fail to stop your predator, you wouldn't survive long enough to
demonstrate your brilliant combo. This creates certain problems, as
!Malks aren't very good in combat (at least they weren't prior to
Louhi), so you'll generally be forced to mix them with vampires from
the other clans.
* Have a good card cycling. Combo decks want to get needed cards
quickly - it would be great if you manage to play two Sibyl's Tongues
in the first 5-6 turns. And you will happily get rid of the last
Tongues, when you won't need them anymore. Dreams of the Sphinx and
Fragment of the Book of Nod are the best, if Learjet isn't good enough
in your deck.
* Your deck should work even without Sibyl's Tongues - at least it
should be able to do something. Don't rely on getting a 3-4 card combo.
Two-card combo should allow you to hold the fire until you get the rest
cards.

2. VAMPIRE OF THE MONTH

Name: Quira, The Bitch Queen [Sabbat:V, tenth]
Clan: Malkavian antitribu
Group: 2
Capacity: 6
Discipline: obt tha AUS OBF
Sabbat: +1 bleed.

Some vampires have really cool names - what do you think about "The
Bitch Queen"? IMHO, Quira's name is second only to the Miller
Delmardigan's "Teacher of Bahari". Actually, "The Bitch Queen" sounds
much better, but, unfortunately, her bitchy nature is represented only
by her +1 bleed bonus in the game, while Miller usually performs
amazing shows of "the Bahari", involving Blur, Quickness and Psyche!
As an anti-Malk vampire, Quira is very strange. She has no Dementation,
and, as you already know, this Discipline is our sole source of power.
Without Dementation, she cannot play Kindred Spirits, Confusion or Eyes
of Chaos. On the other hand, she has inbuilt +1 bleed - actually, Quira
is the cheapest vampire having "unconditional" +1 bleed, and there are
no other 6-caps (or even 7-caps!) with +1 bleed and superior Obfuscate.

Speaking about Kindred Spirits deck, it should be obvious that having
"+1 bleed" is much better than having inferior
Dementation, but much worse than having it at superior. Inferior
Dementation allows gaining a pool from Kindred Spirits, but you'll have
to play a bleed modifier to bleed for 2, while Quira bleeds for 2
without any cards. Superior Dementation enables bleeding any player at
least for 2 and gaining a pool with a single Kindred Spirits, and you
may increase bleed up to 3-4. Unsrprisingly, you will often encounter
Quira in the Kindred Spirits decks: she is a good bleeder and a
wonderful "support vampire" with superior Auspex and Obfuscate. Decks
with Dementation skill cards, however, tend to avoid Quira, since
playing a single Dementation on her would be less profitable than
playing it on a smaller dem/obf vampire (i.e. Yorik): the ability to
play Confusion and Deny at superior is crucial.
But sometimes you aren't building a Kindred Spirits deck; you want to
play without Dementation at all, but you still need Auspex to
reduce/bounce bleeds and superior Obfuscate to play Cloak the
Gathering/Confusion of the Eye or just push the crucial actions -
Sibyl's Tongue is a good example :)  And you may just need a Malkavian
antitribu to play Sibyl's Tongues - what can be better than a good
6-cap vamp capable of bleeding for 2 each turn without any cards? Quira
was born to form a core of a "Sibyl's Tongue support group" in any
crypt willing to play this card. Roger Farnsworth is also very good for
this, and he's much cheaper, but if you can afford Quira, you will
always prefer her. When you have no Tongues, or just don't need more
Tongues, Roger can just hunt or bleed for 1, while Quira can bleed for
2, or use her superior Auspex to bounce/reduce bleeds.
Finally, let's inspect Quira's out-clan Disciplines: inferior
Thaumaturgy and Obtenebration. Inferior Thaumaturgy matches the same
Discipline of Marie Faucigny, with the same possibilities - Quira also
can play Burst of Sunlight and Rutor's Hand if someone would resque her
from torpor after that. She can accompany Marie in 2-3 group DOM/OBF
deck with
Thaumaturgy support, which I will eventually post (hint for now: do you
know that Reverend Blackwood is very good with
Bursts?), but she really lacks Marie's abilities, especially the
optional dodge.
Inferior Obtenebration enables two S:CE cards - Oubliette and Shadow
Body. Both cost 1 blood, but hey, it's Strike:
Combat Ends! If Malks had S:CE, they would dominate the whole game. And
these cards at inferior are the same as the
inferior Majesty - does anybody want to say a single word against
Majesty? Overall, you may encounter Quira in a DOM/OBT/obf
stealth-bleed deck along with Gratiano and Guido Lucciano. Quira is
really good.

3. CARD OF THE MONTH (the "regular" one)

Name: Seal of Veddartha [Gehenna:R]
Cardtype: Equipment
Cost: 1 pool
Unique equipment.
Only usable by a vampire with capacity above 5. This vampire can bleed
at +1 bleed as a (D) action. During each of your
untap phases, put a counter on this card if it has fewer than four
counters. The first two counters each grant this vampire one level of
Dominate [dom]. The next two each grant this vampire one level of
Fortitude [for]. Remove all counters from this card if another minion
gains control of it.

This card is so powerful that it should be at least ten times more
popular than now. Just for one pool you get +1 bleed (OK, this ability
is worse than "+1 bleed", but...), superior Dominate and superior
Fortitude! Just +1 bleed would be good enough for this price, but this
card allows you to "patch the holes" of your vampires and get the
much-needed Disciplines. Speaking in terms of "vampire points", Seal of
Veddartha's full bonus is worth FIVE points (two Disciplines at
superior and +1 bleed)!
Why the Seal isn't as popular as Ivory Bow or Giant's Blood? The first
reason of this is the fact that you generally get
only part of its bonus, since you cannot pack Dominate and Fortitude
cards into your deck if your vampires don't have
these Disciplines at all. The second reason is time. Four turns is very
much in VtES, and if you find your Seal on turn 10, generally you may
discard it, as it would be too late.
Nevertheless, there are decks that can negate these disadvantages, and
in such decks the Seal becomes nearly "broken". You may build your deck
around vampire without DOM and/or FOR and include enough vamps with
these Disciplines to play your cards without Seal. In most cases you
should use Ventrue/!Ventrue as a base clan, since Dominate and
Fortitude are their clan Disciplines. On the other hand, Seal of
Veddartha should be appreciated by any clan without bleed bounce, since
superior Dominate offers the best possible bleed bounce cards; by any
clan without serious bleed capabilities, since it provides +1 bleed and
access to Bonding to bleed for 3 at +1 stealth, and by any deck based
on a large vampire, as the vampire would be able to play Govern the
Unaligned. Fortitude isn't completely useless even without any
Fortitude cards, since it protects your vampire from Kiss of Ra, and
sometimes it would be the single available combat Discipline.
Generally, Gangrel/!Gangrel should need the Seal most - I'm sure that
Enkidu would use it if only he could...
I guess you've read enough theory - let's look at the examples. Anneke
+ Seal = Govern, Deflection, Forced March and protection against Kiss
of Ra, not counting the Fortitude cards you can play to protect her in
combat. Cock Robin + Seal is very similar to Lazverinus :)  Mateusz
Gryzbowsky + Seal is the same case, cheaper, but without votes.
And now I'm going to demonstrate some deck ideas that REALLY "break"
Seal of Veddartha. Ivan Krenyenko can fetch it
without any actions, and he can use Obfuscate cards (or Jack of Both
Sides) to play it. You ALWAYS get your Seal early
enough, so you can relatively safely pack Dominate cards.
Unfortunately, you won't get full bonus, as Ivan already has
superior Fortitude, but +1 bleed and superior Dominate is just too good
for a 1-pool equipment.
Another example of the "broken Seal" is my "deck of the Month" (see
below). You can fetch Seal of Veddartha with Sibyl's Tongue or Vast
Wealth, you will have time to collect the counters, as you're playing
an intercept deck, and this time you will get full 5-point bonus, as
you really need Dominate and Fortitude. Marie Faucigny with the Seal of
Veddartha will have all !Ventrue clan Disciplines at superior and +1
bleed - just like "!Malkavian Gustav Mallenhous" :)  That would be too
good for one pool, you say?
One pool? What are you talking about? Marie would play the Seal for
free!

4. DECK OF THE MONTH

Deck Name: Laz & !Malks
Created By: Ilya Ginsburg
Description: !Malks play Sibyl's Tongues, Lazverinus protects them

Crypt: (12 cards, Min: 17, Max: 40, Avg: 7)
-------------------------------------------
4 Lazverinus pro AUS DOM FOR POT 10 !Ventrue
2 Quira obt tha AUS OBF 6 !Malk
3 Marie Faucigny dem tha AUS OBF 7 !Malk
2 Roger Farnsworth aus OBF 4 !Malk
1 Zoe cel obf AUS 3 Malk

Library: (90 cards)
-------------------
Master (16 cards)
1 Rack, The
1 Demonstration
1 Institution Hunting Ground
6 Blood Doll
1 Hungry Coyote, The
1 Fear of Mekhet
1 Powerbase: Montreal
2 Dreams of the Sphinx
1 Fragment of the Book of Nod
1 Vast Wealth

Action (18 cards)
1 Aranthebes, The Immortal
2 Eternal Vigilance
6 Govern the Unaligned
1 Anima Gathering
7 Sibyl`s Tongue
1 Pulse of the Canaille

Action Modifier (12 cards)
5 Freak Drive
7 Cloak the Gathering

Reaction (19 cards)
6 Telepathic Misdirection
6 Eagle`s Sight
3 Precognition
4 Wake with Evening`s Freshness

Combat (20 cards)
8 Unflinching Persistence
6 Immortal Grapple
4 Taste of Vitae
2 Disarm

Ally (2 cards)
1 Mylan Horseed (Goblin)
1 Neighbourhood Watch Commander (Hunter)

Equipment (3 cards)
1 Bowl of Convergence
1 Flak Jacket
1 Seal of Veddartha

This deck is very interesting, as it's almost "pure intercept" deck
that, however, can oust its prey pretty fast with a help of Quira,
Anima Gathering and Pulse of the Canaille. Sibyl's Tongues are used to
fetch the most effective answers to the most dangerous threats.
Everyone knows that Lazverinus is good, but he needs Eternal Vigilance
to become truly powerful blocker, and Anima Gathering/Bowl of
Convergence provide permanent +2 intercept. All these cards are primary
targets of your Sibyl's Tongues. You may also wish to fetch Mylan
Horseed or The Rack, as they make your life much easier. If you have
time (your predator isn't very aggressive or he is concentrated on
defense against your grandpredator), you may fetch Vast Wealth instead
of Bowl of Convergence, especially if you control Marie Faucigny - she
will then fetch all your equipment for free. There are also two
"emergency targets": Fear of Mekhet against IC members, especially
Arika (PTO is a huge threat that will ruin your game) and Aranthebes,
the Immortal against weenies.
The crypt deserves a few words, as it was designed to achieve several
goals. Obviously, in a deck like this we have no place for Dementation
cards, so we don't need Dementation at all. This makes the most famous
!Malks (Dolphin Black, Uncle George, Yorik etc.) useless in this deck,
but Quira becomes really brilliant, and Marie Faucigny's disadvantage
(inferior Dementation) disappears. Both girls are very good in this
deck, though it may be clever to influence Quira last as the table can
assume that you're playing S&B. Marie is the "second blocker" of this
deck - she can play second Eternal Vigilance, block and use her inbuilt
dodge or Flak Jacket. Roger Farnsworth can enter play fast and fetch
the most needed card (including Dreams of the Sphinx to get Lazverinus
quickly).
Zoe is a Camarilla Malk, and she cannot play Sibyl's Tongue or hunt for
2 blood in The Hungry Coyote. The only reason of
her presence here is Anima Gathering. If you get Zoe, you should fetch
Anima Gathering first, since +2 intercept and +1 bleed for Lazverinus
is well worth having Zoe tapped forever. If you don't have Zoe, you can
play Anima Gathering with Roger Farnsworth or even Quira, but they can
perform useful actions, so it may be better to fetch Bowl of
Convergence first or get it through Vast Wealth.
Now you should note that ALL !Malks here have superior Obfuscate, so
each of them can play Cloak the Gathering to protect the most important
actions: Eternal Vigilance, Anima Gathering and Bowl of Convergence.
Nowadays almost every deck can block +1 stealth actions, at least
eventually, and the ability to increase stealth may be crucial. You can
add more Cloaks if intercept is popular in your playgroup.
The rest cards are pretty straighforward. You may regain pool with the
Blood Dolls, and you have The Hungry Coyote,
Hunting Grounds and The Rack to refill your vampires. There are also
Governs and Powerbase: Montreal to ensure that you
manage to influence at least Laz and Marie and survive. Cards can be
cycled with the Fragment of the Book of Nod; Dreams of the Sphinx, as
usual, can help in both cases. Intercept and combat modules are rather
light, but they are backed up by the good permanents (Neighbourhood
Watch Commander is actually a "permanent combat card" which may force
your predator to cancel the actions he was planning).

That's all for May, and, as usual, any ideas and comments are
appreciated.

Yours,
Ector
Anonymous
May 19, 2005 3:50:29 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.trading-cards.jyhad (More info?)

Ector wrote:

> * Don't include too many Sibyl's Tongues. Your deck should play not
> more than 5-6, since their price becomes too
> expensive. Thus, you can put not more than 7-8 copies into your deck.

There is always a chance to use The Colonel, Mariano Pomposo and Roger
Farnsworth in aus/cel/obf Black Hand deck. Mariano provides chance to
play Waste Management Operation, which can be used to put all extra
ST's to library. Or anything unique that was Suddened/DI'ed. Support
vampires could be Artemis, Idalia, Sarah Brando and Victor Tolliver. I
don't know how effective the deck would be, but perhaps enough to be
worth trying.
!