Semi-Offical VEKN Nosferatu Newsletter for July, 2001

Well, it seems as if Gomi is a little behind the curve this month, so I take up the mantle of providing a Nosferatu Newsletter.

Origins 2001 just came and went, and the Nosferatu made a fairly respectable showing over all--my The Nosferatu Hate You! Rush deck got 4VPs (and missed getting into the finals by 12 tie breaker points) in the 20 person Friday tournament, and in that tournament, the finals had Robin Merrill's weenie Animalism deck packing some Nosferatu and David Tatu's Nosferatu Bloat-n-Vote deck. The Friday tournament was won by Bernie Bresnahan's weenie Protean bleed deck for which Daliyah is an important component. As to the Saturday Qualifier tournament, I'm not sure about all of the decks in the final, but I know that John Bell's Nosferatu based Potence/Animalism Rush deck was top seed going in to the finals with 8 VPs. Very impressive.

For this month, I have a new deck that I have been playing for a few months that is moderately effective. VTES is well known for having three main strategies--bleed, combat, and vote, and all of these essentially exist to reduce a player's pool and oust them. The !Nosferatu were provided with a rather interesting card in Sabbat War that allowed a whole new strategy to become viable--not necessarily good, but viable: The Discard Deck. Yeah, folks used to try and play the fabled "7 Raptor Rush" discard deck, but it was always incredibly slow and hard to pull off. Now with the new ally Courier, you can build a reasonably effective discard deck. Couriers allow you to discard the top card of your prey's deck whenever you bleed him, so by using multiple Couriers, you can rapidly grind your prey's deck to nothingness. Thus, I present...

"You Two Girls! You, On the Bike!"

2x Shannon Price, the Whisperer (3) ani, obf
1x Josef (4) ani, obf
2x Shane Grimald (4) ani, dom
2x Laurent de Valois (4) ani, dom, obf
1x Olivia (5) OBF
2x Cicatriz (5) ani, obf
1x Ox, Viceroy of the Hollows (6) ANI, OBF
1x Christanius Lionel (6) ANI, OBF

Average of 4.4, worst draw of 22.

2x The Rack
2x Shanty Town Hunting Ground
1x Steam Tunnels
1x Using the Advantage
1x Festivo dello Estinto
3x Dominate
2x Obfuscate
6x Blood Doll

18 of 90 or 20%

12x Courier
4x Delaying Tactics
2x Pack Tactics
6x Zip Gun
2x Conditioning
8x Deflection
8x Rat's Warning
2x Raptor
2x Terror Frenzy
12x Night Moves
6x Lost in Crowds
2x Behind You
6x Fake Out

This deck is fairly straight forward, in terms of how it operates--get out as many Couriers as you can as quickly as possible, and repeatedly bleed for 1 at a huge amount of stealth with the Night Moves. When you do successfully bleed your prey, tap all of your Couriers and force your prey to discard a sizable chunk of their deck with a single bleed action. With a maximum of 12 Couriers, you have a realistic chance of running your prey out of cards in a reasonable amount of time. Once they are out of cards, you can bleed them with impunity (unless they are packing plenty of permanents). Three of the stronger aspects of the Courier are that A) you can tap him for his discard effect the turn he comes in to play B) they cost 2 Blood instead of Pool (meaning that they are certainly affordable) and C) they all can bleed for one, so once your prey is out of cards (or it seems convenient), you can bleed him with a huge mob of minions for one each.

In a tactical sense, this deck is rather flexible--it can deflect bleeds well, it has a good amount of stealth (although you have to look out for folks intercepting your recruit actions), a bit of intercept (that can double as even more discard), and some light combat defense. The Zip Guns are worth using in that they are free, you can always play them, and taking one point of damage at long range from the gun is always going to be better than taking close range Potence or Protean strikes. Against long range combat, you are going to be killed anyway, so the point of Zip Gun damage is irrelevant. The Fake Outs could be replaced by more Behind Yous, but the Fake Outs can serve to save the Couriers in a pinch. As you are only bleeding for 1 per action (barring the 2 surprise Conditionings for that final killing blow), you are unlikely to be deflected, but if you are, you don't have to tap the Couriers--save them for the next bleed of 1.

The main question surrounding this deck is "Is this a worthwhile strategy to pursue?" Well, I'm not sure. Yeah, you can run your prey out of cards, but is that really more effective that simply bleeding them to death? Probably not, but it is an interesting strategic option that is almost exclusively available to the !Nosferatu, it is certainly irritating, and can seriously slow down your prey, giving you time to oust him.