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Ventrue Antitribu Newsletter: Summer Edition 2005

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Anonymous
June 19, 2005 11:24:00 PM

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

Ventrue Antitribu Newsletter: Summer 2005 Edition

I. Introduction
II. Fiction: Part 2, but not really
III. Special Feature: Drafting the !Ventrue
IV. Strategy: KMW and the !Ventrue
V. Conclusion

Introduction

First of all, my apologies for missing the entire month of March,
April, May, and June!!!! I'm a Ph.D. candidate, short on time...
Mea Culpa! This month, I have chosen to look at our starter deck with
regard to drafting and to briefly examine some of the potential KMW
unlocks for our clan.

Fiction

[The author of this newsletter grunts something unintelligible about
being on too many academic committees to have time to write part 2 of
the fiction section begun in his last newsletter; he then returns to
his office to contemplate where life went wrong.]

Special Feature: Drafting the Ventrue Antitribu

Drafting is an often overlooked tournament style due to the complexity
inherent in V:TES, but it can be amazingly rewarding. Lets assume
you're going to be doing a starter-based draft and adding a few
boosters. You'll begin with a basic !Ventrue stater from the Sabbat
War expansion, and you'll have access to the following crypt:

1x Lazverinus 10 AUS DOM FOR POT pro archbishop
1x Kyle Strathcona 9 AUS DOM POT PRE for cardinal
1x Quentin 9 AUS DOM FOR cel obt bishop
1x Dominique 7 AUS FOR ani dom vic
1x Dylan 6 aus cel dom for pro
1x Marlene 6 AUS DOM dem for tha
1x Vanessa 6 DOM FOR aus pre
1x Gerard 5 aus dom for obt
1x Vincent Day 5 aus dom for pot tha
1x Ingrid Russo 4 DOM for
1x Juan Cali 3 aus for
1x March Halcyon 1 for

With an average capacity of 5.92, you can plan to field two minions
with a possible third, depending on your initial crypt draw, what
you've drafted as additions, and the table seating. Among the large
minions, the ones you'll want to see most are Lazverinus (for his
combat supremacy) and Quentin (for table vote control; between the two
of them, you want Quentin). Unless you've happened to luck into
drafting a Voter Captivation (only available to our clan through
Camarilla edition boosters), Kyle is a very weak investment of 9 pool
in spite of his cardinal title (his inferior fortitude is likely not
going to be enough to save him when he gets into combat). I'd remove
Kyle from the deck if I drafted an acceptable substitute (virtually any
voter with either dominate or fortitude).

Among the mid-caps, Vanessa is the best of the bunch, coming with her
built in superior dominate and fortitude for only six pool. Marlene is
second with her superiors in auspex and dominate. I'd cheer loudly
if both appeared in my uncontrolled region at the same time!
Dominique, Dylan, Gerard, and Vincent Day are all good minions, too; in
fact, one of the great strengths of the !Ventrue starter is our superb
range of mid-cap vampires. Sadly, the deck-type requires you to field
a fatty to have any success at all; else, we could run a straight-up
mid-cap deck.

The weenies of our crypt are pretty solid reactors, the gem of which is
the unparalleled Ingrid Russo. Juan Cali is an excellent blocker.
March Halcyon has fortitude and can fight for quite a while in spite of
being a 1-cap, depending on the strength of your hand.

Our minions' special abilities are none-too-shabby, either.
Dominique can take care of those pesky locations people may be playing
(goodbye Ventrue Headquarters, farewell Dreams of the Sphinx, hasta la
vista Rumor Mill, Tabloid Newspaper). Dylan can be quite dangerous
with his +1 bleed. Since we'll take the edge at some point, Vincent
Day's edge-burning vote special can come in amazingly handy in a
pinch (and you need all the votes you can get). Of course, if you must
field Kyle, his delicious "I give blood to all my peoples" special
is great to have. Quentin and Lazverinus will be the single most
dangerous vampires on whatever table they're sitting on (save perhaps
for Arika, whom Quentin just might be able to take care of anyway).

In short, our beginning crypt is pretty good. We're a bit shy on
voters, so if you draft into any with auspex or dominate, you should
think of shifting them in; otherwise getting VPs is going to be a
nightmare of deal making and luck. On to our beginning library of 77
cards:

Master [15]
1x Antediluvian Awakening
1x Auspex
1x Blood Doll
1x Corporate Hunting Ground
1x Demonstration
1x Dominate
1x Fortitude
1x Life Boon
1x Minion Tap
1x Out of Control
1x Purchase Pact
1x Recruitment
1x Short-Term Investment
1x Sudden Reversal
1x Ventrue Investment

Our master selection looks okay, given that we're using a starter.
We've got several pool gain options: blood doll (sadly only one, but
you can't have everything), minion tap, a short-term investment, and
a ventrue investment. We have four fantastic masters which deserve
special attention. Antediluvian Awakening is a brutal card, dealing
permanent pool damage to the table unless a terrible sacrifice is made.
Think of it as our "definitely going to be suddened by someone"
master card of the deck. Demonstration will likely lock down vote
control for you, and is almost too good as it can completely manipulate
the entire table to your advantage as long as it's untapped.
Purchase Pact, on the right table, can save you an abundance of
fortitude combat cards and cause many starter deck types to whimper in
anger and frustration, especially since everyone's going to be low on
rushes. The saving grace of our deck is our Life Boon, which (if in
hand at the right time) can insure that you take the game win.
Finally, do not underestimate the power of Recruitment. The deck
depends on having one of your three voters out and manipulating things.
If there are any other vote decks on your table, you simply must have
Quentin in order to survive the Jyhad.

There really aren't any "bad" masters among the ones we start
with (Out of Control being the only exception here, but since the
!Brujah starter begins with our foil, I find it appropriate that we
have an answer). Things to look for in drafting would be more pool
gain/blood manipulation, permanent intercept locations (always good),
and hand flushing tech. I might possibly take out a discipline card
(fortitude being the most likely candidate), but only if I had
something very good to replace it with. Much of our pool gain requires
the sacrifice of master phase actions, so I might possibly think about
dropping down to 13 masters.

Action [7]
1x Eternal Vigilance
1x Far Mastery
1x Govern the Unaligned
1x Pulse of the Canaille
1x Rapid Healing
2x Restoration

Our actions are few, but amazingly powerful (and likely to be blocked).
Probably the weakest of them is Eternal Vigilance, since only Laz or
Kyle will be able to play it (but if either of them succeeds at it,
it's happy days for our clan). Hopefully you'll draft more
Archbishops... Far Mastery, too, can be game-turning if it succeeds.
Govern is always solid, alas that we have only the one. If you luck
into a prey who can't bounce, inferior's the way to go here;
otherwise use it for pool gain. Pulse: it wins games. Rapid Healing
is normally not such a great card...but honestly, you're going to be
going to torpor, and any way of getting out of torpor for free is a
good thing. The two restorations are very solid, especially if you
luck into your blood doll.

Actions to draft would be +bleed and any of the dominate "steal
something" cards. Anything that will get blood back on your minions
is good, too (Entrenching, although not a fortitude card, would be a
solid addition to this deck; seek it out in Gehenna).

Action Modifier [10]
3x Bonding
2x Bribes
1x Daring the Dawn
1x Kindred Manipulation
1x Private Audience
1x Seduction
1x Telepathic Vote Counting

Action modifiers, too, look pretty skimpy; however, all of them are
useful. Savor and defend your three bondings; they're the only
stealth you're going to see. Along this same "I want my actions to
be successful" vein, Daring the Dawn and Seduction are equally
game-saving cards. Alas that we have so very few! If you (somehow)
succeed in getting an action through, Bribes, Kindred Manipulation,
Private Audience, and Telepathic Vote Counting assist this deck's
strategy as nothing else.

If you're looking to slim the deck down a little, I would possibly
consider dropping the Private Audience. There's likely to be more
Sabbat votes on your table, and if you're me, they'll more than
likely be your predator. You'll especially want to toss it if the
draft is Sabbat only.

What to draft? Bleed modifiers and Bribes. You want as many Bribes as
you can get your grubby little torporous hands on (seek ye out Sabbat
War boosters). It's your pool gain, means of propping up a weak
Methuselah, and one of the easiest ways to get your votes passed. The
Sleeping Mind would be a very solid addition to this deck, considering
that it's a seduction for a tapped vampire (and is common in the
Sabbat War boosters you might choose to draft from). If you find
yourself with a Stealth Ritus in hand, you might consider drafting it
(they're from the Black Hand expansion); in a draft, very few minions
are going to be able to block a 2 stealth action. On to the combat
options:

Combat [11]
1x Boxed In
1x Dodge
1x Open Grate
1x Resilience
1x Rolling with the Punches
1x Skin of Rock
1x Superior Mettle
1x Thoughts Betrayed
1x Undead Persistence
1x Unflinching Persistence
1x Zip Gun

The combat module is, well, really bad, especially considering the
number of times your minions are going to see combat. You'll want to
draft some more fortitude prevention cards, definitely. I'd toss out
Boxed In and the Open Grate. I'd seriously consider tossing Thoughts
Betrayed since the deck has very few ways of recouping that 2 blood
investment and equally few ways to torporize minions in combat. What
do you care if they dodge or S:CE? You don't. (You're happy as a
clam if they do.)

The card you'll want to draft is Rolling with the Punches (only
available through SW boosters), though in a draft tournament there
generally aren't bad fortitude prevention cards you could get. If
someone on your table is drafting Bloodlines, you might consider Nose
of the Hound if you can get it (in spite of your pitiful combat, a rush
at the right time is a good thing, especially if you happen to be
Lazverinus). Any other rush would be good, since if you draft it,
others can't (and, again, you have Laz). However, you want to stick
with what works and get fortitude prevention. Aura Reading, from
Camarilla edition boosters, would be an excellent addition to the
deck's combat options, too.

Equipment [5]
1x Brass Knuckles
1x Concoction of Vitality
1x Leather Jacket
1x Saturday-Night Special
1x Sport Bike

Your equipment will serve you quite well, if you can acquire it. If
something better comes along in the draft (Flak Jacket, Gas-Powered
Chainsaws, Bang Nahk, and etc.) I'd swap out some things. Concoction
of Vitality is a very powerful card in a draft. Equipment is the only
way you can count on to deal damage in combat; consider your options
carefully if it comes your way. To this end, a Jack of Both Sides
would be an excellent draft pick from the Gehenna commons as it gives
more stealth and saves pool.

Political Action [15]
1x Anarchist Uprising
1x Ancient Influence
3x Consanguineous Boon
4x Conservative Agitation
1x Crusade: Mexico City
2x Disputed Territory
1x Peace Treaty
1x Rabble Razing
1x Sabbat Priest

Since bleeds for 1 or 2 really aren't likely to win you the game on
their own, these political actions are your means toward victory.
It's really not as bad as it looks, I promise. Rabble Razing is
probably the weakest of them, and I'd definitely consider removing it
(there aren't that many weenie decks among the starters, so this will
be of limited help in a draft). Otherwise, you look pretty set. You
have pool gain, location and weapon control, title gaining, a good
number of pool damaging votes, and a Sabbat Priest to round everything
out. All your votes give you some measure of control over the table
due to their flexibility. You can definitely prop up an ally, or hurt
a potential threat.

Reaction [14]
2x Deflection
3x Enhanced Senses
2x Forced Awakening
1x Obedience
1x Redirection
1x Spirit's Touch
2x Telepathic Counter
2x Wake with Evening's Freshness

Finally we come to reactions. They're all quite solid: 4
react/block while tapped, three bounces, a bit of intercept, a couple
counters, and a single Obedience (very, very handy). We've
definitely got nothing to complain about here, and you'll want to try
to draft more of the same (when possible). Note that Cam boosters have
Deflections and Redirections, and SW boosters have redirections and
telepathic counters. Look for these.

All told, our drafting options are quite solid. Our discipline set is
amazingly common: you'll be able to pick cards from virtually any
pack of boosters and be able to use them. Focusing on the commons will
usually win you the day. You can vote. You can bleed. You can react.
What more does one want of a draft deck?

Discipline Card Commons by Draftable Expansion

Drafting from boosters is all about commonality and probability, as
such I've compiled a list of commons by our in-clan disciplines.
This is not a comprehensive list.

Sabbat War Commons
Auspex
1 Precognition
2 Primal Instincts
3 Spirit's Touch
4 Telepathic Counter
Dominate
1 Redirection
2 Scouting Mission
3 The Sleeping Mind
4 Threats
Fortitude
1 Regeneration
2 Rolling with the Punches
3 Skin of Rock
4 Superior Mettle
Special Mention
1 Bribes
2 Conservative Agitation
3 Forced Awakening
4 Many !Ventrue vampires are booster draftable

Final Nights Commons (Not Recommended for Drafting)
Fortitude
1 King of the Mountain
Special Mention
1 Vampire: Gustav Mallenhous (priscus)

Bloodlines Commons
Auspex
1 Anesthetic Touch
2 Aura Absorption
3 Folderol
4 Nose of the Hound
5 Panacea
6 Sense the Sin
7 Tourette's Voice
Dominate
1 Absorb the Mind
2 Clio's Kiss
3 Spirit Marionette
Fortitude
1 Infection
2 Renewed Vigor
3 Sense Vitality
Special Mention
1 Many Kiasyd share aus/dom with us
2 Rare: Nagaraja share aus/dom with us (think Le Dinh Tho)

Camarilla Commons
Auspex
1 Aura Reading
2 Enhanced Senses
3 Reading Intentions
4 Spirit's Touch
5 Telepathic Counter
6 Telepathic Misdirection
Dominate
1 Bonding
2 Conditioning
3 Deflection
4 Govern the Unaligned
5 Seduction
6 Threats
Fortitude
1 Hidden Strength
2 Indomitability
3 Rapid Healing
4 Skin of Rock
5 Skin of Steel
6 Unflinching Persistence
Special Mention:
1 Concealed Weapon
2 Kine Resources Contested
3 Vampire: Edward Neally

Anarchs Commons (Not Recommended for Drafting)
1 Improvised Tactics
2 The Mole
3 Diversion
Special Mention:
1 Vampire: Joseph O'Grady

Black Hand Commons
Auspex
1 Quicken Sight (with celerity)
2 Under the Skin (with presence)
Fortitude
1 Alpha Glint (with animalism)
Special Mention
1 Vampire: Blackhorse Tanner (Black Hand)
2 Vampire: Charice Fontaigne
3 Vampire: Dominique (ADV)
4 Vampire: Katherine Stoddard (Black Hand)
5 Vampire: Owain Evans, the Wanderer
6 Vampire: Sister Evelyn
7 Martial Ritus
8 Stealth Ritus

Gehenna Commons
Auspex
1 Crocodile's Tongue
2 Principia Discordia (with anarch)
Dominate
1 Chain of Command
2 Reformation (with anarch)
Fortitude
1 Friend of Mine (with anarch)
2 Soak
Special Mention
1 Vampire: Jesse Menks (archbishop)

KMW Commons
Auspex
1 Anima Gathering
2 Weight the Heart (with serpentis, which we lack)
Fortitude
1 Forced March (with celerity)
Special Mention
1 Dylan (ADV)

Strategy: KMW and the Ventrue Antitribu

Although KMW is still very much on all our minds, I thought I'd focus
my energies on examining the way the set might mitigate our clan's
primary disadvantage (only having access to expensive stealth) through
the way it interacts with cards from older sets.

Arguably the most expensive stealth in the game, Stealth Ritus,
requires two Sabbat minions, one blood from each of them, and
"frontloading" the stealth on the declaration of your action. Yet
this is the easiest stealth card our clan will ever be able to play.
(The alternative is to utilize our clan's access to obtenebration,
which likewise costs blood for its stealth; thus we have the same
problem.) Two cards from KMW make Stealth Ritus not hurt quite so
much.

Procurer. It's an amazingly effective ally, especially for us, and
its ability to lend us blood helps mitigate the damage inflicted on us
through accessing Stealth Ritus. Since we also have access to both
Perfectionist and Capitalist, our blood-hemorrhaging stealth options
become less burdensome, especially once our actions are successful.
Paying for the Procurer is less a problem for us than other clans,
since we can Restoration the blood sometime later with relative ease.
(Note that another alternative to Procurers is the Local 1111, which is
an equally excellent card for us, albeit not from KMW.)

Lear Jet. Is there a better vehicle for our capitalistic minions to
travel within? Lear Jet helps us cycle like madmen when we frontload
our Stealth Ritus stealth. Combined with such fantastic minions as
Blackhorse Tanner and Katherine Stoddard , drawing an extra card for
each card we play insures we almost always have the card we need when
we need it. (Also note that including Blackhorse Tanner and Katherine
Stoddard in a deck gives us access to the myriad Black Hand card
options not usually available to our clan; central among these boon
cards are The Art of Memory, Marijava Thuggee, and Ministry). Card
cycling seems to be our clan's area of influence, even more so than
our domination of the political scene, and Lear Jet doubles that
cycling capacity.

Speaking of the Black Hand, this sub-set of the Sabbat is likely our
best means of acquiring precious, juicy Trophies from hunting down the
Red List. We only rarely manage to burn minions outright in combat
(Lazverinus aside), and having no access to either Anathema or
Sacrificial Lamb, we must resort to that most vile of acts...Diablerie
(or use Amaranth in combat, as we rarely have difficulty torporizing
our foes). Why does Black Hand help us in this regard? Why because we
can send Blackhorse or Katherine off to do the dirty deed, then save
them with an Ebony Fox Hunt, ensuring that we both get the trophy of
our desire *and* still have our precious card-cycling minion for
further rounds of the great Jyhad. Which trophies are best for our
clan? This question I still ponder, though I like the potentials of
Clan Respect, Hunting Ground, Progeny, and Domain.

Conclusion

I hope you've enjoyed this month's rather lengthy newsletter. Next
month you can expect a KMW flavored deck (once I've had some time to
investigate a solid strategy). Until then, keep fighting the good
fight against the Camarilla and Independents!
Anonymous
June 20, 2005 11:41:33 AM

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

Oops. My bad. :) 
Anonymous
June 20, 2005 4:08:29 PM

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

cmberry@purdue.edu a écrit :

nit-pick

> Dominique can take care of those pesky locations people may be playing
> (goodbye Ventrue Headquarters, farewell Dreams of the Sphinx, hasta la
> vista Rumor Mill, Tabloid Newspaper).

it would be so sweet if dominique were really able to burn dreams of the
sphinx ;) 
!